By Cassidy Peterson
As the Hutchinson Community College football season keeps winding on successfully, the pep band will continue working as well, performing at every home game and rehearsing a few times a week.
That also means the band will feel the shift from warm, late-summer games to chilly, fall games. The band has not yet experienced cold temperatures, but Saturday’s game against Iowa Western, could be chilly with the high temperatures expected to be in the upper 50s.
Eric Stambaugh, the Symphonic Band and Pep Band Instructor, is now in his second year at HutchCC, but he has taught music for 25 years. Most recently he was the Director of Bands at Buhler High School.
When asked what the worst weather the band has had to endure this year was, Stambaugh said that HutchCC was supposed to host the Kansas Bandmasters Association 1-2-3A Marching Festival for high schools on Oct. 28, and he said it was 35 degrees outside, with rain and lightning.
Fortunately for HutchCC students, the event was canceled early in the day.
Up to this point, the band has mostly endured heat. The roughly 45 music students experienced their first game of the season with temperatures in the upper 90s.
“The weather has been fine except for that one time it was like 95,” said Sam Logan, a Nickerson native and pep band member. “Other than that, the wind blows through, and it feels pretty nice. (Pep band) is a good time. We play music, hang out, and eat pizza.”
Another member of the pep band, Buhler graduate Lilly Coldren said the heat was a bit much, but that was about the only complaint she’s had.
“I like being outside, so it has been pretty good,” Cauldron said. “The first game was hot and I did end up getting burnt since I’m pretty fair skinned, but otherwise it has been good. Pep band has been a great experience.”
As the football season continues and basketball starts, Stambaugh said the only two circumstances in which the pep band would not go to a football game is rain, as that can damage the pads in instruments, and the other scenario would be sub-freezing temperatures, as the condensation in an instrument can freeze, causing the buttons to not press. The cold can also cause finger stiffness making it difficult to perform. In almost every other scenario the pep band will be there, cheering on the football team and providing entertainment for the audience.
The HutchCC pep band in action at Gowans Stadium during the NJCAA national semifinal football game, rain or shine (or snow) on Dec. 2 or Dec. 3.