Pep band energizes UVM


The floor was vibrating as a group of around 20 yellow jerseys banged on cowbells.

“The pep band adds the energy that’s needed at games,” sophomore Flannery Mehigan said. “I just want to get up and dance with them.”

The Fighting Catamount Pep Band, which plays at UVM hockey, basketball and soccer games, is open to everyone, regardless of experience or major, co-director Neil Wacek said.

“It’s playing music for music’s sake,” Wacek said.

Sophomore Sophie Singer said she joined the band because she is too busy as a nursing major to do other ensembles.

“It doesn’t feel as strict or tense as other bands,” first-year Will Wuttke said,” and you get to go to a lot of sports games.”

It’s this relaxed atmosphere and chance to play their instruments that draws people to pep band, co-director Jack Curtis said.

“Leaving high school, I didn’t have an outlet for trombone,” senior William Robbins said. “I saw Pep Band and said, ‘I have to do that.’”

Many of the band members joined because they already had a connection with someone who plays in it.

“I live on the same floor as the guy who plays bass drum,” Wuttke said. “He told me I should join.”

Curtis first became involved with the band when he was in high school because had friends who were going to UVM, he said.

“When I joined the band in ‘93 there were a lot of members who were alumni or from the community,” Curtis said.

One alumnus who continues to play with the band is Miles Main,’15.

Main has stayed with the band post-graduation because of how much of a family it became for him, he said.

“We all hang out,” Main said. “We even live together.”

These relationships can be seen when they talk and joke among themselves during the games, only to snap into place the second UVM scores to play “Vermont Victorious,” the University’s fight song.

“These are my friends.” Main said. “I don’t have any other friends.”