BY CURT HARLER
The Blue Band is headed to Auburn, Alabama for the huge Big10-SEC showdown on September 17 as the Auburn Tigers take on our Nittany Lions. This is not just a road trip, not just an overnight trip…the Blue Band will spend two full nights in Atlanta, Georgia as part of the festivities.
The first day will have a recruiting flavor as the Blue Band performs for high school musicians in the Atlanta area. The next day, they will bus 100 miles Southwest down I-85 to Auburn for the game.
“The athletic department was extremely supportive about us going,” says Dr. Greg Drane, director of athletic bands. It helped that Coach James Franklin was outspoken about wanting the Blue Band there to support the team as the Nittany Lions invade SEC country.
The Blue Band’s halftime show on the natural Bermudagrass turf at Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium will feature Latin music. And there is no doubt that the expected 87,500 fans will be rocking. Not quite as exciting is the bill Dr. Drane anticipates receiving as a result of the Blue Band’s travel expenses. “It will be a significant cost to go to Auburn,” he notes. Donations to the Blue Band to support the trip are appreciated.
For ABBA members, Homecoming is the red-letter (blue-and-white letter?) date on each year’s calendar. This year’s Homecoming performance will feature a twist. Look for both the Blue Band and the Alumni Blue Band to share the field for the halftime show.
While the norm has been for ABBA to perform after the Blue Band does its seven minutes at halftime, this time the Homecoming crowd will be treated to the full impact of both bands shaking the stands in unison. And did you recall that the October 22 homecoming game against Minnesota is a White Out?
One of the reasons a joint show is possible is the digital drill software which both bands will have access to at Homecoming (the Blue Band has it every week). The software simplifies charting and makes it easier for both ABBA and regular band members to find their marks. Eventually, ABBA also will get its music digitally, downloadable to cell phones. ABBA will need to get special lyres for cell phones. The Blue Band has them now.
Back to current events, the Blue Band’s season will start with them storming out of the tunnel for the 2022 home opener September 10 against Ohio University. Look for the normal complement of 305-320 musicians to be high-stepping in Beaver Stadium. The music theme at the OU game will be Blockbuster Hits, featuring show tunes from the best of recent movies.