- Eternal Flame
WT Marches On
What makes a good marching band? The halftime show? The band itself? What about the drum majors? Could it be the directors leading the students? No matter what, the marching band at WT is irreplaceable. The WT band roughly consists of 200 members that come from all over Texas, as well as a few who come from out of state. The WT band is a diverse community of music nerds who all share the love of playing their instruments and creating music together. Both music and non-music majors join for one semester to perform for students, alumni and parents at the football games. However, a band is much more than the music they perform and how they look. Amid 200 band members, there are life stories and experiences to be told.
Jessica Chandler is a junior double majoring in music education and music business. She is also the current Vice President of Membership of the Tau Beta Sigma Xi chapter here at WT. Tau Beta Sigma is a national honorary that focuses on women in music. She describes her experience in the band as “family and friendly like”. Chandler also said she appreciates how warm people in the band are and says that even though many have differences in the band you’re never alone. Despite everyone coming from different areas, having different points of view and interests, at the end of the day they stick up for each other. Being in band is also fun to her as she participates in color guard and describes it as more fun than marching an instrument. Chandler also plays clarinet.
“It’s so much fun being here. I like being around my friends and being able to laugh with the directors,” and when talking about how important band is to Chandler, she also added that in band you “learn how to multitask, manage your time and improve your social skills."
Band is an accepting place and helps people come out of their shell since they do have to socialize and work together with 200 other people. “The atmosphere of the band here at WT encourages people to be themselves” Krystal Munoz said.
Munoz is a music graduate student at WT and has been a part of the band for 6 years now. She is also the current president of Tau Beta Sigma. She has many insights into how the band works. She loves participating in the band because of “the type of students and the directions the directors take with their leadership."
Being in band has prepared her by continuing her leadership skills and helping lead the band as a graduate assistant. Krystal is now getting ready to move on from school, graduate with her masters and start teaching music to elementary grade children.
Non-music majors also participate in the band. Why would a non-music major put themselves through marching band? Well for people like Kayla Kumir-Misir, it is an easy answer. Their love of music binds them all together. Misir is a sophomore majoring in biotechnology and is also the 2019-2020 color guard captain. She leads the other color guard members and teaches the choreography that goes along with the marching show.
When asking Kayla why she stays in band in college she replied,
“there is a place for everyone in the band”.
Even though non-music majors are uncommon in band, they do exist and show that they too can perform at the level of music majors.
“Doing marching band keeps music in my life."
Misir also has good relationships with other band members as well as the band directors. Dr. Teweleit is the marching band director here at WT. He has been leading the Buffalo Marching Band for 10 years now.
“Teweleit cares about his band kids” she says.
When discussing how other non-majors could join band Kayla replied, “sign up and give it a shot, Teweleit isn’t the kind of person to turn anyone away.” Band Director Teweleit even says “There is no better way to start college than to be in band. You instantly get 200 friends."
So even if you don’t have any interest in being a music major, you can still participate in something that is part of something bigger.
Anyone who has the time and dedication can participate in the band. The band has friendly faces and is welcome to anyone who wants to participate. Even if you don’t know how to play an instrument, you can learn, or you can participate in the experience color guard offers. The band directors at WT are understanding and care about their students. A band is so much more than those geeky marching uniforms and weird personalities. These people have different lives, upbringings and points of view that are ultimately tied together by their shared love of music. So next time you see a band kid, or even a music major, give them a high five and take a moment to appreciate all the hard work they do to entertain the students, staff and alumni of WT.