For the first time in 8 years Tennessee Tech’s marching band will be traveling to an away game with the football team on October 5. Last time the traveled was to MTSU and this year they will be taking over Murray state.
Tech’s marching band hasn’t traveled in 8 years which isn’t as surprising as it may sound. Most universities around the country whether they had a traveling tradition or not have drastically decreased due to a bad economy. When the country started entering it’s depression years ago, a lot of funding to schools were cut and one major thing to go was band travel. Even the costs of traveling over night was too great for most universities.
President Oldham arrived at tech nearly a year ago, and to welcome the new president Tech’s music department held a show for him on his lawn. Doctor Eric Harris, Director of the golden eagles marching band feels President Oldham really gets it. He said President oldham had approached him on that day and said “It really seems to me music is one of the biggest assets of the university.”
Shortly after President Oldham had approached Dr. harris once more with a vision for the golden eagles marching band to travel to their first game in nearly a decade.
“You can have the best foot soldiers on the planet, but if the generals don’t understand and work with you, you can’t win the battle,” said Harris. “President Oldham is incredibly supportive of band and the music department.”
There are roughly 200 students in band, with 50-60% of them not being music majors. The band also started practicing a week before school started. Within the first eight days the band already had to be sized for uniforms, learn five pieces of music, played freshman convocation, played at the first home game not only on the field but in the stands as well, and more.
“This building never sleeps, its a real privilege,” said Harris
The music department has 400 concerts a year, roughly 40 performances a month that vary from faculty recitals, student recitals, bands, choirs, orchestras, and guest artists.
“It’s fun because music and athletics get along great. Mark wilson is incredibly supportive, and helps the band feel at home and appreciated.” said Harris
The hospitality does stop with Tennessee Tech’s athletic department. When the band travels to Murray State, Murray has offered to feed the band hot dogs and drinks during the third quarter and have just all around been a pleasure for the band to work with.
The music department at tech is exceptional from having Professor Morris returning for his 46 year at tech, to the New Department chair Jennifer Shank, and the students all wanting to better the department.
“The young faculty bring new fresh ideas, and approaches, while the veteran faculty have great notoriety and wisdom. It’s a great mix,” said Harris “It’s a very exciting time for the department.”
Not only will tech’s marching band be traveling but more the music department will be as well. Top choir traveled to Italy in May with Doctor Craig Zamer, the percussion ensemble will be traveling to a convention in Texas, with doctor Eric Willie where only four universities were invited. And the tuba ensemble will be traveling to Carnegie Hall in New York with Professor Morris.
Tennessee Tech’s Golden Eagle Marching Band will be traveling to Murray state this Saturday Oct. 5 2013 with the football team.