Pep band prepped for fans

Published 2003-12-10T00:00:00Z”/>


Kayla Anderson<br>Staff Writer

Chico State has a pep band?

Yes, and it’s getting ready for its second season, playing funk, Herbie Hancock, jungle boogie and other types of music to pump up the crowd.

The newly resurrected pep band has 25-30 members, up from 12 last year, when graduate student Cory Dearborn joined. That’s when the band started, Dearborn said.

“The athletic department got involved because they wanted more spirit,” he said.

Dearborn said that it’s hard to get students to volunteer because of the time commitment, but when the athletic department offered funding, scholarship money and free T-shirts, more people joined. The band started playing at basketball games last year.

“When the pep band started, there were people who’d never played music, or they played secondary or even third instruments,” Dearborn said.

He said hardly anyone could read music either. He said now that the quality of music is much better, people want to join. He said they have a good time and being in the band isn’t super-stressful.

For junior Dallase Scott, being in the band is a way to play her trumpet when she otherwise wouldn’t be able to.

“I don’t have time to be in other bands because I’m on the cross country and track teams,” Scott said. “I play the trumpet, and the pep band is the main place to play; it’s too loud to practice at home.”

She said that she has a hectic schedule, but grew up playing music, so without music, something would be missing in her life.

“We have a lot of fun,” Scott said. “The songs are fun to play, and we have a good time together.”

She said last year at games people would come up to them, shake their hands, and tell them how good they sounded. She said people tell them how happy they are to see them play.

“It livens up the spirit in the gym and adds extra emotion in games,” Scott said.

The band plays during timeouts, breaks and halftime. It starts right when it has a chance, and director Nora Thomas cuts off the music when the game resumes, she said.

Thomas, a graduate student, said she had to beg and plead with people to join the band.

“It’s hard to get players because they have big time constraints,” she said.

Thomas said she had to offer incentives, so she got money and got the pep band out of the grave.

“There used to be a pep band for a long time, but then it got tucked away,” Thomas said.

She said the athletic department made it happen. Thomas said now they have a strong band, with at least 10 saxophone players, eight trombones, the local band Chingus as the rhythm section, and other instruments.

“Right now, we just do basketball games; no one’s asked us to do other (sports),” Thomas said.

She said the band plays at a lot of art events.

“We’ve talked about playing baseball games, but it hasn’t happened yet,” she said.

Thomas said that for the upcoming spring, playing baseball games is a possibility. <em>Kayla Anderson can be reached at <a href= “mailto:[email protected]”>[email protected]</a></em>