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Old 07-02-2013, 02:27 PM   #1
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Default Marching Band story on GCC

Said in the teaser the band is bigger and better than ever.
Anyone with insider info have a synopsis.

Thought the band was great last year.


And yes, it truly is the dead of summer if we are talking about the marching band.
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:04 PM   #2
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Default Re: Marching Band story on GCC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roosterboy View Post
Said in the teaser the band is bigger and better than ever.
Anyone with insider info have a synopsis.

Thought the band was great last year.


And yes, it truly is the dead of summer if we are talking about the marching band.

I like dead summers! Better than talking about players being idiots.
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: Marching Band story on GCC

Go cocks
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: Marching Band story on GCC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big-Cock View Post
I like dead summers! Better than talking about players being idiots.
Very true.
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: Marching Band story on GCC

I also thought the band was better last year! Looked better too in those fancy white duds.
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: Marching Band story on GCC

From GCC:

The South Carolina marching band promises to be bigger and better than ever in 2013.

Bolstered by the widespread enthusiasm surrounding the Top 10 football team, the USC band has seen membership grow towards the optimum level of 325 members, an increase of about 85 in the past few years, putting the Gamecocks on par with conference standard-bearers such as LSU.

"We're at the size the Board of Trustees and the president has asked us to be, which is incredible," Director of Athletic Bands Rebecca Phillips recently told GamecockCentral.com. "And I actually think we're going to get a few more students in because freshman orientation isn't done yet."

When Phillips took command three years ago of the marching band, she quickly set out to increase the number of brass instruments. Her determination has paid dividends since USC heads into the upcoming season with 33 sousaphones (the large tuba designed to fit around the body of the musician), a significant jump from a few years ago.

"The brass numbers are going up," Phillips said. "That's really exciting. The number of sousaphones we'll have on the field this season is actually quite a bit more than the schools around us that we've compared ourselves to. Thirty-three is a landmark."

Phillips wants to increase the number of trumpets by over 40 percent, from the current 45 to about 64. But she wants to do so in a prudent manner because of the difficulty and expertise required to play the trumpet.

"That's one instrument you don't learn fast," Phillips said. "A person has to play that since middle school to be able to hang in a college band. You can't pick it up as a senior in high school, work on it for a few months and then join the marching band. That instrument takes way too much skill and power. We have to let the state grow with us."

USC will unveil new custom-designed drums, probably in October, Phillips said.

Growing the band beyond 325 members is unlikely due to budgetary concerns, Phillips said, so if the number of trumpets rises, another instrument must likewise decrease.

Moreover, if the number of students looking to participate in the band goes any higher, auditions may be necessary to sustain membership at the 325 level.

"We hate to put in the word 'audition' because there is such an enthusiasm to be in the band right now, but that could come in the next couple of years," Phillips said. "We'll have to figure out how to do that so it's not a discouraging factor."

Besides brass instruments, another gauge for measuring the quality of a marching band is the percentage of members returning from the previous season.

In 2013, "well over" 60 percent of the band will consist of veterans, a fairly high number most marching bands struggle to reach, Phillips said.

"Right now, the percentage of returning members is the highest it has been in over 10 years." Phillips reported. "We have more returning members than the Carolina band has had historically. If you're able to retain students, the quality of the band typically goes up. It says something about the spirit of the university and the school and the experiences the kids are having just as players in the group."


Paul Collins

The USC marching band has grown at an astounding rate and could be at close to full capacity in 2013.
The success of the football team (31-9 in the past three years) also deserves a large chunk of the credit, Phillips maintained.

"You always have to give credit to the football team," she said. "Without a doubt, when football is exciting, the popcorn tastes better. Everything is better and people enjoy things more and people buy into that. I definitely believe the fact the football team is doing so well attracts people to anything having to do with football, including band."

The USC athletic department furnishes the band with $252,000 in financial support and $100,000 for scholarships. Most band members receive a $400 scholarship and one academic credit in exchange for making the commitment.

"I would love to see the students get a little bit more than that ($400), but that's something in the future, way down the line," Phillips said. "That is a long-term goal for the band."

The university purchased new white band uniforms last year, and they have proven to be a hit.

"The overall budget of the band has gone up and it's now where it's going to stay," Phillips said. "Everything that was needed and was requested to help the Carolina band be what it needs to be, the band is getting. The new uniforms look fantastic. They are so bright. The kids look good in those."

The rapid jump in band membership over the past couple of years meant Phillips had to swiftly acquire new instruments, and most of them are costly. For example, each sousaphone costs $7,500.

"We haven't had enough instruments for the kids, so we've had to quickly buy some," Phillips said. "It's not cheap. Because we're growing again with our sousaphones, we've had to buy more of them at seventy-five hundred a pop. That's huge."

The marching band again intends to perform a different halftime show at each home game this season. That shouldn't pose much difficulty early in the season, when USC alternates home and road contests in the first five weeks.

However, USC closes the regular season with home games on four November Saturdays, beginning the first weekend of the month against Mississippi State, so November could severely challenge Phillips, her staff and the entire marching band.

"We'd like to think there will be five straight games," Phillips said. "We're, of course, dreaming about the SEC Championship Game. November is going to be a very exciting month."

Phillips is developing a "Diva" show focusing on the music of old and new female artists such as Donna Summer, Aretha Franklin and Beyonce, as well as a Queen-themed show revolving around the rock masterpiece "Bohemian Rhapsody."

Also, since this year marks the 50th anniversary of the debut of the heralded James Bond films, Phillips is planning a show highlighting some of the best music from those movies and some of the top movies from this summer.

The military salute will occur, as always, around Veterans Day in November. Since USC has a bye week on Nov. 9, the annual festivities will likely take place on Nov. 16 against Florida.

Phillips plans a "really awesome surprise" for the rivalry battle on Nov. 30 against Clemson, but declined to offer details, saying "we're going to keep that under wraps."

"We have something really fun that I think people will definitely enjoy for the Clemson game," she said.

The full marching band will travel to Georgia for the critical Week 2 matchup with the Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium, while small pep bands will fly to Arkansas (Oct. 12) and Missouri (Oct. 26) within a span of two weeks, exhausting trips that should put a dent in the group's budget.

Larger pep bands of about 110 members will travel to UCF in late September and Tennessee in mid-October, Phillips said.

"We're happy that we can have a band at every game," Phillips said. "They really vie for those pep band trips. The Carolina band likes to travel and support the team and wants to be at the games. They want to perform and be there for the fans."
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:49 PM   #7
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Default Re: Marching Band story on GCC

Good to hear the Mighty Sound of the Southeast is back.
Interested to see what they have planned for the rivalry game.
I though two years ago the angry birds thing was pretty smart.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: Marching Band story on GCC

I will be honest, I never paid much attention to the band in the past but last year those kids really made me notice them. They seemed louder and more heavily involved in the games more than before. I made sure to go see them at the battle of the bands at the Outback Bowl this year at Busch Gardens. They blew away Michigan. I love the new uniforms as well.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:28 PM   #9
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Default Re: Marching Band story on GCC

I thought the band was great last year. Forming the gates of the horseshoe before the game is one of the coolest things they've ever done.
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:53 PM   #10
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Default Re: Marching Band story on GCC

Being a former band geek in HS (wasn't good enough to play for USC...I'll readily admit that) it was great to see and hear them getting loud again. The last few years, at least before Mrs. Phillips got here, the band was much quieter, smaller, and technically, they were sloppy.

Now, much louder, much crisper in technique, and much better energy.

I really hope they keep Mrs. Phillips around, she has done a fantastic job.
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