By Katie Weitkamp/Staff writer
As Roy Kidd prepares for his 300th win this year, the marching band prepares for a year of entertainment and excitement. It’s been a hot, long summer and the marching band is in full swing, trying to learn the movements and music they will play at the home football games. “The band members are very enthused about performing the upcoming shows. They haven’t complained once about the heat,” said Ken Haddix, the new marching band director.
The band has been practicing since Wednesday before classes began, despite the heat. They practiced for three and one-half days and gave a short performance in front of the Keen Johnson Building Sunday before classes began.
“The crowd wasn’t big enough, but I think the performance was very good,” said Julia Laney, sophomore and forensic chemistry major from Livermore.
“We are going to be playing a tribute to the music of Gloria Estefan at the first home game,” said Haddix. “It takes quite a lot of preparation and planning to produce one show. Many hours of drill writing as well as several rehearsals to learn it.”
This is Haddix’s first year as band director at Eastern, but he has been directing bands for 13 years as well as working at public schools. The band and the University are very happy with the new director.
“He is great as far as teaching the music,” said Angela Heupel, a sophomore and history major from Alexandria. Many other students in band are very happy with
Haddix because of the musical freedom he allows them, and his laid back style during practices.
Normally, during the football season the marching band plays at all home games and travels to one away game, but this year the schedule did not work in their favor. The band will only be seen at home games.
“The away games were the most fun things we did. You get to meet a lot more people at them, and they were just a lot of fun,” said Laney. Members of the band are disappointed that they do not get to travel to an away game, but
understand the circumstances and are hopeful that next year, they will have the opportunity to support the football team at an away game.
Members of the marching band receive a scholarship, the value varying depending on their year in school and position held in the band. In addition to the scholarship, the members get one credit for an HPR class as well as a MUS 256 credit.
“I want to let everyone on campus know that they too can be a member of the Marching Colonels. It’s easy. All they have to do is have some previous band
experience, enroll in the class, and come to band camp,” said Haddix.
“My expectations are to have a band that is energetic, exciting, and entertaining. Not only for the fans, but to support the team to do their very best at each and every home game,” said Haddix. Haddix is excited about his first year as Eastern’s marching band director and looks forward to this year as well as the years to come.