Letter From the Director
It’s hard to believe August is upon us, with CMB #19 reporting to Band Camp in just a few weeks! The Student Leadership teams have been in communication with new and returning members, and we are excited to begin rehearsals very soon. Our halftime show committee diligently worked over the spring semester and early summer to design exciting halftime entertainment, and I can’t wait to share more details with you in the coming weeks. We hope you will join us on Saturdays at Carr’s Hill Field for gameday rehearsals and later on in Scott Stadium.
I want to take a moment to thank you for supporting the Cavalier Marching Band in 2021-2022. Over 200 friends, family members, alumni, and students made a contribution to the band program, and we are so grateful that you believe in the important role the arts play in students’ experiences at UVA. As we look ahead to 2022-2023, your support will continue to make a difference to members of the CMB. If someone you know is interested in giving to the CMB on an annual or monthly basis, more information can be found on our website under “Giving,” by using the Orange “Give Now” button in the top right-hand corner, or they can Text to Give by texting “UVAMarch” to 41444.
This month’s newsletter contains a few helpful dates to keep in mind. More information will be available on the CMB’s Calendar of Events.
Lastly, be sure to stay connected with the CMB @UVAMarchingBand on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Thank you for all you do to support the incredible students of the CMB, and I look forward to seeing many of you in just a few weeks.
Highlighting our 2022-2023 Drum Majors
By ANDREW PANNING
Drum Major Alexa Ramirez conducts the band at the 2021 UVA vs. Notre Dame game. (Photo Credit: Tom Pajewski)
While most of the spectacle of performances is put on by the students playing instruments or twirling flags on the field, none of it could be possible without the leadership of our wonderful drum majors, or DMs. They are perhaps the most visible members of the band, seen in pristine white uniforms, baton in hand, and often standing on platforms overlooking the rest of the students marching on the field. If the directors of the Cavalier Marching Band are the brain of the organization, then the drum majors are the beating heart, in more ways than one.
Firstly, they set the tempo. From the football field, the entire band can see the steady hands of the drum majors on their podiums, conducting the music, leading it forward and keeping it clean. If their pulse increases, the band can instantly speed up to follow along. With a single raise of the hand, the music crescendos into a powerful chord. Without the drum majors, the band would quickly fall apart, devolving into a dozen different speeds and styles. That kind of responsibility for the band does not come lightly, but to DM Evan Denison, it is entirely worth it. His favorite part is “experiencing the halftime show from the conducting stand—seeing the visuals, hearing the music, and feeling the energy all at once. There’s no better place to appreciate our performance, it’s truly the best seat in the house.”
Secondly, the drum majors are the heart of the CMB in a more spiritual sense. They are among the most enthusiastic and spirited members of the band, always looking to bring the hype on game days and excite the crowd before pre-game. From getting ready in the band building to heading the column of marchers from Slaughter to Scott Stadium, the drum majors are the face of the band, exemplifying both professionalism and excitement. DM Moon Kim is going into her first season as drum major, and is “looking forward to connecting with all new and returning members regardless of their sections! I’m also really excited to work with them and other drum majors to put amazing shows on the field!”
Thirdly, they keep the band going off the field. They assist the directors and section leaders in relaying information back and forth, as well as providing leadership and guidance to other members of the band. They are always happy to help, and friendly with everyone in the CMB. DM Alexa Ramirez stated that her favorite part of the role is “being the person that anyone in the band can come to for advice, help, or a friend. I love being in a position that can make the CMB experience the best it can be for not only the audience but the members too.”
Next time you see the CMB performing, make sure to give our amazing drum majors some recognition, because they do a lot of work to make the CMB a thriving and welcoming organization.
ANDREW PANNING is a rising fourth-year double majoring in English creative Writing and History. He is a member of the alto saxophone section and is seeking to revive the currently-extinct tenor sax section.
2022 Band Camp Schedule
July 31: Audition deadline for new members
August 13-14: Pre-camp for leadership and logistical crew members, drumline, guard, and twirlers
August 15: Early on-grounds move-in date for first-years and upperclassmen living on-grounds (Members’ names are submitted to UVA Housing by the CMB Directors)
August 15-20: Full band camp (8:30AM-10:00PM)
August 20: Friends and family performance at Carr’s Hill Field, followed by a CMB Family Picnic for all in attendance (1:00PM)
August 23: First day of classes (FDOC)
September 2: Paint The Town Orange on the Charlottesville Mall and Ting Pavilion
September 3: First football game vs. University of Richmond (12:30PM)
Highlighting our New Student-Led Committees
By KYLE HUDGINS
New (school) year, new CMB! Over the course of the spring 2022 semester, the directors held several meetings with band members to discuss potential changes for the new season. Among other changes, the directors announced the addition of several new logistic committees at the April 2022 Band Banquet. These new committees began their work this summer with the aim of improving certain aspects of the band experience. These new committees include the Hospitality Committee, the Band Camp Committee, and the Recruitment and Engagement Committee. Read more about these committees and their responsibilities in the upcoming season.
Food is an integral aspect of the game day experience, and feeding a group of close to 300 students with an array of dietary needs is a difficult task. After the 2021 season, many CMB students felt that the food provided before and during football games was lacking in some respects. The Hospitality Committee is being formed as a response to this need, and placing the food budget into students’ hands. This committee will work together with the intent of effectively using the budget to meet everyone’s dietary needs and providing ample sustenance to the band on game days.
Band Camp Committee
Indoor practice at the Culbreth Garage on a rainy 2021 Band Camp day. (Photo Credit: Tom Pajewski)
Everyone knows that a good foundation is the key to success. The Band Camp Committee is committed to making the band camp experience the best it can be, allowing for the CMB to enter the fall semester united and prepared to take the field. The committee is going to be especially focused on the first-year marcher experience, creating opportunities for them to get integrated into the band with members inside and outside of their sections. Although this committee’s focus is only on the first week of the CMB’s time together, band camp sets the tone for the entire season and the Band Camp Committee will work on being the catalyst for success.
Recruitment and Engagement Committee
The CMB is committed to being a place for everyone with a passion for marching band. The band strives to recruit a large and diverse group of members every year, and the Recruitment and Engagement Committee is forming in order to dedicate more time into focusing on making this possible. Their responsibilities will include reaching out to high schools for potential Band Day participants and granting scholarships to students who may want to attend Band Day, but lack the financial resources to be able to. Moreover, this committee will also work in the spring semester to recruit incoming students as they are accepted into the university. Their work will create a bigger and stronger CMB in future seasons and broaden the range of prospective marchers.
KYLE HUDGINS is a rising third-year student at UVA from Ashland, Virginia. He is a Commerce major with a minor in Spanish. Kyle plays piccolo in the CMB.
High School Corner
By ABBY KUPSTAS
CALLING ALL FIRST YEARS! We’ve put together some helpful tips to guide you during your first UVA band camp.
1) Remember the basics.
Before you arrive at band camp, remember to pack a water bottle, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. Keep these in a backpack or drawstring bag. During band camp, drink water and reapply sunscreen frequently.
It’s important to stay hydrated during band camp, but we’d rather you fill a personal water bottle than drink directly from our shared cooler. (Photo Credit: Tom Pajewski)
2) Don’t expect perfection.
While it’s important to try your hardest during band camp, you don’t need to be perfect. Learning a pregame show, a halftime show, and an array of stand tunes in the span of a few days is a challenge for anyone, but it’s especially hard for new members. Look to your returning section-mates for support, but don’t expect to get everything right the first time. Spend your energy by becoming “one percent better” every time you perform.
Dr. Tackitt’s Pillars of Success don’t hinge on perfection. As long as you “Bring your Best” and strive to become “One Percent Better,” you’re golden. (Photo Credit: Tom Pajewski)
3) Get to know your support systems.
Many CMB sections have a Big/Little mentoring program— an informal mentorship process through which younger “Little” students get paired with older “Big” students within their section. Your Big can help you with anything CMB or UVA-related, whether it be answering questions, showing you around, or lending an extra hand during move-in. You’ll first hear from your Big over the summer, and they’ll be your Big for as long as you’re in the CMB (and maybe longer)!
Aside from your Big, you’ll get loads of support from other returning CMB members, both in and out of your section. They will welcome you in the Hype Tunnel, perform with you during rehearsals, and play with you during the Band Camp Scavenger Hunt. If you need to miss a mandatory dorm meeting to participate in band camp, they’ll even become your impromptu tour guides. All in all, they’re your new best friends, and they’re already excited to get to know you!
Members of the CMB trombone section huddle up during a CMB Olympics challenge. (Photo Credit: Tom Pajewski)
ABBY KUPSTAS is a rising second-year double majoring in Commerce and Youth & Social Innovation. She is the chair of the CMB Media Committee and is a member of the CMB's saxophone section. She also runs the Instagram account for the saxophone section (@uvasaxophones) and hopes you drop a follow!
How to Give to the Band
The CMB is so fortunate to have passionate fans among our alumni, parents, family members, and community members. Our students have always been the pulse of our program, who spread the spirit of Virginia on Grounds and in our community. Please consider supporting the students of the CMB with your donation here.