NIU Pep Band pumps up fans

By Drew Veskauf

When the players of the volleyball and basketball teams rush the court, they are greeted by a crowd of fans to cheer them on.

However, fans are not the only ones to get the teams pumped up: the NIU Pep Band also aims to keep emotions running high.

The NIU Pep Band appears at athletic events to play popular tunes before, after and during breaks in the game.

The goal of pep band is to entertain and pump up the crowd and team, said pep band director Henry Kappler.

To reach this end, pep band plays a variety of popular songs. This year, they have about 50 songs to choose from, Kappler said. These songs range from “Play That Funky Music” to “Mr. Roboto” and “Livin’ on a Prayer.”

Greg Matushek, senior music education major, said pep band is always a lot of fun for everyone involved.

“Fans here…are really great and very supportive,” Matushek said.

Ashley Miceli, senior music education major, said she enjoys pep band for the combination of seeing the sports and the fans.

“It’s just the excitement aspect,” Miceli said. “The cheering of the fans, whether it’s for us or not, is exciting.”

There are currently 25 members in the pep band, but Kappler said he wishes more would join.

“We’d love to be bigger,” Kappler said. “The more the merrier.”

Those looking to join are welcome to try out, Kappler said. This requires the person to play a song provided by Kappler. High school band experience is also a requirement, as is the ability to read music.

Those looking to join can show up from 8 to 10 p.m. Tuesdays at the Music Building, room MB173. Those with questions or unable to make Tuesday tryouts can contact Kappler by email or phone.

Interested students don’t have to be involved in marching band to participate in pep band, Kappler said.

Pep band is also available for credit during the fall and spring semesters.