Whether it’s 95 degrees or 45 degrees outside, members of the Red Raider Athletic Band tie up their red All-Star Converse shoes and head over to De Valois Stadium for all of Northwestern’s home football games. Being one of 40 members in the pep band, I can attest to the fact that people can see and hear us coming from across campus. During the games, we fill the stands with classic songs such as “Land of 1,000 Dances” by Wilson Pickett, as well as some modern songs like “Believer” by Imagine Dragons. Steve Connell, the director of the Red Raider Athletic Band, likes to have us play a variety of music to entertain both the fans and the football players. During its nearly year-and-a-half of existence, the Red Raider Athletic Band has pumped up the energy at home football, basketball and volleyball games.
I decided to join the athletic band because I enjoyed playing my clarinet in high school and I was looking for a way to continue playing my clarinet in college. When I heard Northwestern was creating an athletic band, I was really excited about the opportunity to be a part of it. Anyone who is interested in becoming a member of the Red Raider Athletic Band has the opportunity to join because there is no audition required. As a member of the band, I have not only formed friendships with the fellow clarinet players in my section, but also members in the other sections. We’ve formed a special bond through our matching shoes and fantastic dance moves. Another benefit of being a part of the athletic band is that the members are compensated with a monthly stipend for their commitment to the band, but that’s just a bonus given how much fun we have together!