ETSU marching band looks forward to playing in new football stadium

Brandon Paykamian • Updated Aug 19, 2017 at 12:34 AM

This is a particularly big year for the East Tennessee State University marching band, which will join the Buccaneers in their new football stadium for the first home game, Sept. 2 against Limestone College.

Director Joe Moore said he’s excited about seeing the band perform in the new stadium.

“We were appreciative of being at Science Hill, but it’s going to be nice to have a place here without having to travel off campus,” Moore said.

But this isn’t just a time for celebrating — it’s time to get to work. Moore said the band has to pick up the pace to prepare for its first preview performance at the amphitheatre next to the D.P. Culp University Center on Aug. 25, a week before its first home game at the new stadium. This performance, which will be on the last day of band camp, will be free for the public and campus community.

That means not only getting equipment and apparel in order, but also making the music flawless.

“We have to have the drill written ahead of time, and we have a really quick turnaround with our first football game being the first week of classes,” Moore said. “We’re bringing in people from all different kinds of backgrounds in a very short amount of time.”

Before classes start on Aug. 28, marching rehearsals for the full ensemble will be held twice daily Aug. 21-24, 8:15 a.m.-noon and 6-9:30 p.m.

“Everything that we have to get done, we have to get done this coming week,” he said.

2015 was the first year in a while the school fielded a marching band, Moore said, adding it was initially planned to be a “pep band” in the stands when he returned to direct the band once again. The unexpected growth of the program helped form the marching band a year earlier than expected.

Since then, the number of musicians in the band has grown to more than 200, which he said is quite high for a school the size of ETSU. Because the band is larger now, Moore said the music will reverberate throughout the larger stadium they will be moving into.

“The band is actually a bit bigger now. We’ve been working really hard on getting more recruited,” Moore said.

As the drumline continued rehearsing Friday before the full band’s meeting, Morris said the members of the ensemble continue to impress him with their musicianship and dedication every year.

“We have great students, and they’re the reason we’ve had the success that we’ve had,” Moore said. “We’re looking forward to continuing with that success.”

Moore said he is confident in the musicians he directs, and is excited for their first home game performance. In the coming weeks, he hopes to start the season in the new stadium with a bang.

“We will be playing four tunes during the halftime show, as well as several other tunes that we play while we’re in the stands during the course of the game,” he said.

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