By Amanda Lehnerd
With the resurgence of 1990s pop culture – from millions of people playing Pokémon GO, to pop punk legends Blink 182 releasing an album and touring – the world is embracing all things ’90s, and so is Youngstown State University’s own Marching Pride.
Meet the Marching Pride is a yearly event reintroducing YSU’s Marching Pride. This year, the band has taken on a ’90s boy band theme for their performance.
Gabriella Sandy, a fourth year instrumental music education major and Marching Pride trumpeter, said she’s feeling enthusiastic about the show’s theme.
“I have a lot of excitement about this show and so do the other band members,” Sandy said. “Most marching pride members are on board since they were born in the ’90s and grew up on these bands.”
The event will present the Marching Pride’s halftime show in the fall during football season and will feature hit songs from the ’90s boy bands 98 Degrees, Backstreet Boys and NSYNC.
The show’s opener is “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)” by 98 Degrees. The production is a medley of songs from the Back Street Boys, composed of “Backstreet’s Back,” “I Want It That Way” and “Larger Than Life.” The closer is also a medley of songs from NSYNC, with tracks like “Tearin’ Up My Heart” and “It’s Gonna Be Me.”
“Even though the bands formed in the ’90s when I was born, I would still try and sing some of the songs. I listened to Una Noche when I heard we were going to play it, and I could not get it out of my head,” Sandy said. “I catch students in the halls of Bliss humming or singing the songs.”
Tenor saxophone section leader Kathleen Brown says students in Marching Pride put in many hours of work and preparation to be ready for football season.
During band camp – held Aug. 18 to 22 – they rehearse every day from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Rehearsal during school is from 1 p.m. to 2:50 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Fridays from 2 p.m. to 2:50 p.m. Brown said Saturdays are generally an all-day affair.
Rehearsals are intensive, leaving Marching Pride members a short time to learn all of the music and formations for their shows and pregame.
“We are using this band camp week to start learning the music and formations. It takes a lot of practice, repetition and focus to put the show together,” Sandy said. “We get our entire show on the field plus pregame by the last day of camp, with many run-throughs to make the small details pop.”
According to Brandt Payne, director of athletic bands, the Marching Pride welcomes over 170 members to campus this fall.
“We are excited to host Penguin fans for ‘Meet the Marching Pride’ to get a head start on the Penguin football season,” said Payne in a press release.
The Meet the Marching Pride event is free and open to the public with the west stands available for patron viewing. Donations to support the Marching Pride will be accepted, and 2016 band T-shirts will be for sale.