The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    Performers lend time, dedication

    There is one organization on campus that requires at least four hours of work each week from its participants but still boasts a membership of nearly 250 students. The participants represent every college on campus and they also get to perform at the football games. They make up the Famous Maroon Band.
    “I think the students are in the band because it was an enjoyable experience for them in high school,” director Elva Kay Lance said. “They’re musicians and they want to continue playing their horn. Another huge part is the social aspect. It gives members an opportunity to connect with people who have similar interests.”
    “It’s like an automatic clique of friends, and that really helps when you go to your first day of class,” said Christopher Herring, a baritone player and senior geosciences major. “When you’re a freshman, you already know four or five people in your class from the band.”
    Abbi McPhail, a freshman saxophonist majoring in graphic design, said, “I love all the people, getting to be around them and having fun.”
    Lance noted the amount of time that band requires from students.
    “Students practice one hour a day, Monday through Thursday, and Fridays if we have a home game,” Lance said.
    Not only do they practice daily, but band members meet three to four hours before home games to participate in pep rallies. The band also plays at every football game, including away games.
    “We take the full band to one away game, and a pep band goes to the other away games.” Lance said. This year, the Famous Maroon Band has prepared three major halftime shows: a Latin show, a tribute show to American heroes and a movie show featuring tunes from the films “Batman,” “The Mummy Returns” and “Moulin Rouge.”
    Also, a special “Shake, Rattle and Roll” show that they have worked up for Saturday will feature high school students and band alumni.
    “We invited the juniors and seniors from our recruiting area, which includes the state of Mississippi, the counties that border Mississippi in Tennessee, Alabama and Louisiana, and also the juniors and seniors from our database,” Lance said. “There will be 200-250 students in addition to the band here and our alumni band, so there will be close to 600 people on the field.”
    For the past two games, members of the Famous Maroon Band have shown their support for head football coach Sylvester Croom’s “maroon-out” by wearing maroon T-shirts and khaki shorts for their halftime show instead of their usual wool uniforms.
    Lance said recent 90-degree temperatures are another reason for the switch.
    “It’s cooler and much more comfortable,” said Meg Lamberth, a junior colorguard member, who also made the switch to T-shirts and shorts for the games.
    The band is expected to be back in their usual maroon and white uniforms for the Maine game Saturday.
    Those who are interested in joining the band must audition with a prepared piece, a series of scales and a sight reading piece.
    For more information on the band, contact the office at 325-2713.

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    Performers lend time, dedication