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The East Texan

Pride Marching Band Stands Proud

Matthew, Allen

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When people describe the fundamental elements of college life, the topic of music generally comes up.

At Texas A&M University – Commerce, the music is definitely a part of what makes campus life manageable and in Commerce, the university has a marching band that surpasses other universities.

One of the notable highlights of the music department is the Pride Marching Band, under the direction of Alan Goodwin.

“We work hard to make sure we bring something special in our performance to the faculty, staff and community,” he said. “We try our very best to bring forth a show that is both musically and visually exemplary to our audience.”

The Pride Marching Band, described as the largest and most spirited organization at A&M-Commerce, perform for more than 50,000 people each year through home football games, various special appearances and competitions around Texas.

Among the special appearances are exhibitions at the Northeast Texas Marching Classic and the Area C Marching Contests.

Each year the band performs a different show. The 2014-2015 show was described as an “electronic infused show,” titled “Burning Down the House” which was performed at football games at exhibitions.

The title of the 2015 program, “Thunder Struck,” is described as “a term used to describe the state of being utterly shocked or astounded beyond words.”

In his detailed show description, Goodwin adds “The ‘Pride’ Marching Band traditionally has this effect on audiences around the Metroplex, and this year will be no exception as we quite literally take the field by storm. The design team hopes to bring to life the beauty, majesty, intensity and occasional fun of stormy weather, from lightning to thunder to the awesome energy of a hurricane.”

The band is under the field leadership of drum majors Ben Underbrink, Tha-Tu Nguyen and Rebecca Bouley.

Membership in this prestigious band is not limited to those who are music majors.

“What makes our band so unique is that anyone can audition to be a member,” Goodwin said. “It is not just open to music majors. We feel that it helps add diversity to our organization if everyone feels like they have a chance to become a part of the Pride Marching Band.”

While the audition process is advanced and made to be challenging, the feeling that one gets when they hear the news that they have made the cut is a feeling of both relief and happiness.

The requirements for a spot in the band is that the applicant fills out an audition application, followed by a series of interviews and sight-reading audition as well as an audition playing with the specific part of the band that they want to join. The applicant must have a GPA of 2.0 in order to try out, be committed to attend practice three days a week during the fall semester and attend all home games unless they have a valid excuse.

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Pride Marching Band Stands Proud