In March of 2020, students and faculty received an email putting a ban on in-person classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fast forward to fall of 2020, students and faculty were back on campus, but in a different and unique way. Masks and social distancing were a part of the new norm. Weekly COVID-19 tests were conducted to ensure the campus community safety.
With the start of the fall 2021 semester just around the corner, the Shippensburg University Red Raider Marching Band (SUMB) is preparing for its return to Seth Grove Stadium after nearly two years.
The SUMB is the center of SU’s school spirit and pride. The band is at every home football game, travels to local high school competitions to perform in exhibition and performs at the collegiate marching band festival alongside 24 other bands from around the East Coast.
Joining the SUMB as a freshman in 2019, I was excited and eager to continue the traditions the SUMB has. It wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic that brought that eagerness and excitement to a halt. It was hard last season for members to stay involved, especially since we did not have a field show. During the fall of 2020, the SUMB used its season to work on its fundamentals. This included: technique, music, traditions, bonding as sections and many more. Each week, the band would get together, in small sections socially distanced from each other, and go over the SUMB fundamentals. While this was a great way to stay attached to their instrument, something was missing.
Over the summer, the SUMB held three minicamps for the band. During these minicamps, the band started to work on teaching the incoming rookies the basics of marching. Throughout these rehearsals, my confidence and excitement started to build up again. I was looking forward to grabbing my drum and play in the stands and on the field.
The SUMB completed its band camp on Aug. 17. The band worked hard throughout the two weeks; learning coordinates for drill, memorizing music and preforming during the fall welcome week. I am confident that the SUMB will walk into Seth Grove Stadium on Sept. 5 and bring the energy and excitement that rippled through the stadium two years ago.
Shippensburg University is celebrating its 150th anniversary as an institution of higher learning and the SUMB plans to commemorate it by having a “150” on the field during the pregame performance.
Editors Note: Ryan Cleary is a part of the Shippensburg University Marching Band.