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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Stony Brook Marching Band Preps For Debut

    Stony Brook’s new marching band is hard at work in preparation for their home debut at the halftime show of the homecoming game against Albany. So far, the university community has only gotten a brief glimpse of a small band in August at the New Student Convocation, following a 3-day ‘band camp.’ On Friday, they held a rehearsal in advance of their trip to the Seawolves football game in New Hampshire the following day. The constantly growing band currently has ‘around 39’ members, according to Shayna Corapi, one of the band’s graduate assistants.

    The idea for a band was first conceived over this past winter. A committee was formed, which included Dean of Students Jerrold Stein and Athletic Director James Fiore. A great deal of research was done into the matter, and Long Islander John Leddy was hired as the Director of Athletic Bands in June, and started in July. He talks of being ‘excited to get here,’ and has been to the campus many times over several decades.

    Shortly thereafter, the band’s instruments and uniforms started to be ordered. They continue to take delivery of materials and equipment, and some were assembling instruments, delivered only an hour earlier during the rehearsal. Most of the band, having their instruments, practiced their growing repertoire, including ‘Let’s Go,’ ‘YMCA,’ ‘We Will Rock You,’ and ‘SBU.’

    Due to the band’s relatively late creation, the opportunity to recruit during the spring semester was lost. However, Leddy said that this did have the upside of allowing the band to start small. He did say that one year from now; he hopes to have around 100 members, with a color guard and flags. In the meantime, there will be a new, formalized pep band coming this basketball season.

    Leddy has said that the only setback the band has experienced has been weather-related. For instance, he intended to take the band outside on Friday, but those plans were foiled by pouring rain, which wouldn’t be good for the equipment. They did, however, practice in the stadium during the 3-day band camp, despite terrible conditions cause by tropical storm Ernesto’s remnants.

    He says that he is ‘terrified’ about their coming debut, mainly because the band is new, but says that he is ‘blessed with super students.’ Leddy also says that everybody he’s talked to can’t wait for the band’s performance. He also feels that this will bring the new ‘sense of spirit and identity’ the project seeks to create.

    They’ve already been asked to perform at university events other than football games. President Shirley Strum Kenny wants them to perform at the opening ceremony for Southampton College, recently acquired by Stony Brook. They’ve also been asked to perform on October 25 during the Campus Lifetime period in a parade commemorating domestic violence awareness month.

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