Recently, Mercyhurst’s band has been heard throughout campus and performing at home football games.
The band was only started a couple of years ago, but has seen tremendous growth under Robert Reid, whom was appointed band director in January 2014.
The band consists of 60 members, but Reid believes that it can continue to grow.
“Mercyhurst isn’t big, but there are only so many instruments needed to be played, so we look to have somewhere between 75 to 80 members,” Reid said.
Reid said it is best that Mercyhurst plays a variety of classic rock and older music from the 50s, 60s, and 70s.
He wants to ensure that not only the band members enjoy these songs but the crowd does as well.
“We like to play stuff that are crowd pleasers, songs you hear at a wedding or on the radio that people can dance to,” Reid said.
Along with playing familiar songs, band members get the crowd involved by singing, yelling chants for the football team and even starting the “wave.”
Reid said it is far more challenging running a college band than a high school one. This is mainly due to time constraints and the fact that numbers of members fluctuates more in college.
“We just want to perform for entertainment; we are not a competitive band so no competitions,” Reid said.
While the band does not have its own show or competitions planned this year, they are making the trip up to Michigan for the Mercyhurst vs. Slippery Rock football game in the Big House.
The band is very excited to travel there and will be paired with both Michigan and Slippery Rock’s bands.
They will be performing amongst a big crowd estimated to be somewhere from 50 to 80 thousand. 1,600 of those being high school students there for Michigan’s band day.
“It’s exciting, but it is going to be a long and busy day. We will be performing at the tailgate earlier in the morning, a pre-game performance, and then finish with a halftime show,” Reid said.
“It will be cool to perform for over 400 alumni, as well as plenty of family and friends, for such a big venue.”