Meet YSU’s Marching Pride

By Mary Van Jura

Break out the neon stockings, put on some hairspray and do the cabbage patch — the Marching Pride is throwing it back with their first public performance of the semester with the theme “That 80s Show.”

Brandt Payne, director of athletic bands at YSU, has been on faculty for six years and says the Marching Pride is an exciting group of performers who represent all different areas of study —from engineering to music education.

“For me, the greatest part about Marching Pride is getting to work with unique, talented and gifted students,” Payne said. “It serves their lives to be a part of it and it gives them a break from their studies to make friends.”

Payne said that the only downtime for the Marching Pride is between the months of January and February, but even then they are still recruiting. This semester, 35 new members were added to the Marching Pride.

To follow along with the theme, the Marching Pride will perform songs like “Africa” by Toto and “Take on Me” by A-ha. Payne said that he selects the music the Pride performs according to audience, and in order to engage and excite the students.

Brian Schubert, a sophomore trumpet player, is excited for the theme of this semester’s show.

“When they said the songs we’re playing, I was like, ‘Yes!’” Schubert said.

Jessicah Dye, a sophomore clarinet player, and Taylor Aslanis, a freshman clarinet player, are both members of the Marching Pride.

“You make a lot of friends and it’s like a huge family of 160 plus members,” Dye said.

Aslanis agreed that the band’s culture is family-like.

“I like being a part of the community that it creates,” Aslanis said.

At rehearsal, the Color Guard, Penguinettes, drumline and band gather on the Stambaugh turf to stretch and warm up before practicing. They then receive directions from Payne and other instructors on what to do and how to improve.

Travis Beatty and Jordan Mastrangelo, both four year band majors, admit that time management is something they must keep a top priority since they are so heavily involved with Marching Pride.

Iain Bacorn, a first year baritone player, is adjusting to the work environment of being in the Marching Pride.

“The aspect of Marching Pride which is most challenging for me is putting music to movement,” Bacorn said.

The Marching Pride bandmates commit to practicing about five to six hours a week, plus two to three hours on game days alone. Their performance will be at Stambaugh Stadium from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday.