New band members learn the

by Amy Costello

The marching band has developed many traditions throughout its 108-year history — and Homecoming events are among these.
The band will celebrate Stooge Week and various alumni events as well as participate in the pepfest, the parade and Saturday’s football game.
Many band members say these events bring the band closer together, teaching them about each other and the University.
During Stooge Week, which happens throughout this week, sophomores and upperclassmen are paired with freshmen members to introduce the newcomers to band and University life. The seasoned band members also initiate the students by assigning light-hearted tasks to the new members.
For instance, a scavenger hunt-like game in which band members try to discover different facts about the band and the University helps to unite all the members with each other and their history.
“Tasks are designed to learn more about the University and the ensemble itself,” said fifth-year senior and drum major Andy Ritcher.”The band is over 100 years old and homecoming gives the band a chance for the freshmen to learn about the band.”
Sophomore trumpet player Jared Bergeron said Stooge Week helps new members overcome the overpowering size of the marching band.
“Because the band is so large, Stooge Week is fun because it is a way to meet new people. It is a chance to see what freshmen know about the band and the University,” Bergeron said.
Stooge Week is just one of the marching band’s many traditions during homecoming. Trumpet section leader Andy Blair said the band has consistent pre-game customs and game performances in which the marching band also involves band alumni.
Ritcher said the alumni will participate in the football game half-time show. The band plans to do a blast-from-the-past performance.
“Homecoming allows the alumni to come back and participate in the activities they used to,” Richter said. “For the football game half-time show, we plan to bring back old formations that have been done. The band will end with a formation of the 150-year (University) logo and alumni band will come through the center and play.”
The marching band also participates in various events throughout the homecoming week such as the pepfest and the parade.
At Friday night’s bonfire on the St. Paul campus, the crowd will hear the ensemble’s music playing in the background as the homecoming king and queen are crowned.
“Homecoming Week and Stooge Week are so fun,” said Jodi Lukkes, “because it provides band members with an educational program about the band and the University.”