Spirited student-musicians raise event morale
THE SANTA CLARA
October 10, 2013
If you’ve ever been to a Santa Clara sporting event, you may have noticed the loud, Waldo-esque group of musicians. The self-proclaimed “loudest fans on the court,” the Santa Clara Pep Band is a proud club made up of all sorts of people who are simply overjoyed to be Broncos.
“We love our school, our teams and will always be proud to support them,” said senior Kelli Clark, co-president of the club. “This is especially because no matter how our team performs, pep band always wins.”
Pep band was founded by students Taylor Thorn and Andrew Willingham in 2005. They are a part of a long network of bands on campus, but associate most directly with the Red Hat Band which was around in the 1950s and 1960s. Formally known as the Santa Clara Bronco Band, the group seeks to promote school spirit at sporting events.
“You’ll find us at various university events like Grand Reunion and Golden Circle,” shared fellow Co-President Katherine Burkhuch. The group also makes appearances at various events such as cancer and Alzheimer’s walks.
“Unlike the marching bands, we don’t have restrictions on joining which events we go to, which helps create community and friendship that only further promotes school spirit,” said Burkhuch.
When the band was founded, the group received little attention.
“I joined this group as a freshman, having played the saxophone since the seventh grade, because I love sports, screaming and wanted to be a part of a college band,” said Clark. “I ended up playing the cymbals instead and just absolutely fell in love with the energy of the group. We try to be open to all, musically inclined or not, who just want to play, cheer and taunt.”
Since then, the group has grown. They are composed of a variety of students from different backgrounds.
In 2008, the video game company, 2K Games, creator of several popular sports series, featured samplings of the band as part of the cheering. The group was also featured on “Campus Cribs,” an issue put out by Sports Illustrated.
The band has worked hard to uphold the standard as a trailblazing pep band, and have been contacted by numerous other schools across the country that hope to find pep groups of their own.
Most recently, the pep band was invited to play in San Francisco, due to a reference put in by a Santa Clara alumnus, Chloe Wilson. They performed for and each personally met with Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter and Square.
Those interested in getting involved are encouraged to reach out to Clark or Burkhuch.
Contact Philip Sykes at firstname.lastname@example.org.