Dear CMB students, family members, alumni, and supporters,
With a Fall giving campaign underway, I’d like to share a few highlights from the CMB's past month.
Before the Oct. 16 Homecoming football game, the CMB drumline filmed a uniform reveal video for UVA football. This collaboration featured quarterback Brennan Armstrong and can be viewed on @uvafootball's Oct. 14 Instagram post. At the Homecoming game (10/16), over 30 CMB alumni returned to perform with the Band at halftime. Read more about that game below in this month's newsletter.
During Family Weekend (10/23), five of our 2021 graduates, whose final CMB in-person season was missed due to the pandemic, performed with the Band. The CMB and returning alumni watched as UVA's football team become bowl game eligible in the victory against Georgia Tech.
The CMB also returned to in-stands performance in October. It was incredibly heartening to hear the student section’s support of the band!
On Monday, November 2, the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, and New Music Ensemble performed Terry Riley’s minimalistic masterpiece, In C, on the South Lawn. The Wind Ensemble’s next concert is entitled re:imagine, and will be performed at IX Park on Monday, November 22, at 7:30 PM. Join us!
Throughout the season, Dr. Tom Pajewski has diligently photographed our students at rehearsals and performances. Tom’s thousands of CMB photos are accessible here; the password to access the galleries is CMB2021Hoos. We’re grateful to relive season moments through Tom’s photo galleries!
Indoor rehearsals with winds instruments are now allowed on Grounds, and we’re able to take full advantage of our incredible Band Building. As always, please consider stopping by to say hello anytime you’re in Charlottesville. Thank you for your continued support of the Cavalier Marching Band.
Wishing you and yours a healthy November!
With our partners in Arts Development and Annual Giving, we are elated to share that the Cavalier Marching Band’s Fall Giving Campaign is underway! Throughout the campaign, there will be section video appeals, section challenges, and the Parents Fund Committee has generously offered to match the first $20,000 in gifts dollar-for-dollar! Please consider supporting the students of the CMB with your donation here.
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. Every gift makes a difference in the student experience, and we are grateful for your support.
Be on the lookout for information about our upcoming giving campaign on the CMB website and on CMB social media pages.
Families of CMB members join their students on Carr's Hill field to sing "The Good Old Song" after the October 23 game day rehearsal. (Photo Credit: Tom Pajewski)
By ANDREW PANNING
Nathan Snow wears a bagel necklace and holds a banana phone for a Sock Wars immunity. (Photo courtesy of student)
Christian Riewerts takes the UTS bus to class while wearing his Sock Wars immunity for the day. (Photo courtesy of student)
As a CMB member in the fall, there’s no better way to have fun than by putting on a bagel necklace and stalking a fellow band member in hopes of slapping them with a sock. This is not metaphorical.
Out of the many events that the band fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi (KKPsi), host throughout the semester, the most popular (and intense) is Sock Wars. Everyone who signs up to participate in this game is assigned a target, and the goal is to tag this person with a sock to get them "out." Once your first target is out, you are assigned a new one, and this process repeats until there is only one person left in the game. It is not uncommon to have over 150 people playing, which causes the game to last for weeks before a winner is declared.
Perhaps the most amusing—and potentially embarrassing—aspects of Sock Wars are the daily immunities, or activities that protect targets from getting tagged and eliminated. Players must have their immunities on them throughout their daily schedules, especially when going to their classes, if they wish to stay safe from being tagged. These activities include high-step marching (like we do during performances), using a banana as a telephone, dressing up as the Statue of Liberty (complete with a torch), and many more. It may seem to some readers that these are slightly ridiculous methods of staying in the game, and they'd be right. The immunities are designed to get slightly more challenging and slightly more humiliating each day. After all, the game doesn’t stop until there’s one person left.
Even the most zealous of immunity-wearers can lose if they don’t also focus on the other crucial half of Sock Wars: the chase. To prevent players from sitting idly in their homes, every player has one week to get their target out before they themselves are eliminated. I was able to accompany my housemate Christian Riewerts for many of his eliminations. During one assassination attempt, Christian and I waited for his target on The Corner, hiding nonchalantly under the awning at the entrance of Mincer’s. His target finally walked by and looked at us, but he didn’t recognize Christian as a threat. After the target took a few more steps, Christian bolted after him, swiping his shoulder with a sock (to the surprise of both the target and all the pedestrians on the sidewalk). Despite his pursuit lasting only a few seconds, Christian's heart was pounding, and it took awhile to shake off the adrenaline and begin planning the downfall of his next target.
Although the adrenaline rush can be fun, some CMB students understandably choose not to participate in the game, as many would rather direct their focus towards their classes or jobs and not have to worry about the chance of being tagged. Erika McCormick, a fourth-year in the saxophone section, "just didn’t feel like looking over my shoulder for a month." She decided not to participate in Sock Wars, claiming “it’s more fun to help other people from the outside.”
The idea of helping from the outside reflects the fact that, for the majority of Sock Wars’ duration, the game is a team activity. Those who didn't sign up and those who were eliminated can still help out their friends by figuring out the identities, class schedules, and exact locations of targets. The game masters purposely try to avoid assigning players targets within their own section, further allowing section members to pool their resources and help each other out. Unfortunately, this loyalty doesn’t last forever, and when someone is assigned their own section-mate, it can lead to either strategic cooperation or instant betrayal.
In the final week of Sock Wars, the last three players in this year's game were all members of the saxophone section. Christian Riewerts, Zach Hallock-Diaz, and Brandon Eley were finally forced to turn on each other for the grand prize of an Amazon gift card. Zach was eliminated when he failed to locate a hidden game master in a game of hide-and-seek with the other players. During the last matchup, Brandon was eliminated, and Christian took home the title of 2021 Sock Wars Champion. I asked him how it felt to come out on top after the challenges of Sock Wars' final week.
“I think this has been the greatest week of my life,” he said.
ANDREW PANNING is a third-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 next year.
By OLIVIA HALE
Saturday, November 13, 2021: Home Game vs. Notre Dame
The CMB salutes veterans near and far with our Veterans Appreciation show, which highlights the sights and sounds of our armed service branches. The show begins with John Philip Sousa’s "Invincible Eagle" March from 1901, and is followed by a traditional medley of Armed Forces songs which are bookended by "The Stars and Stripes Forever."
Saturday, November 27, 2021: Home Game vs. Virginia Tech
Our final halftime show features some of the CMB’s favorite radio tunes, recognition of each of our fourth year members by name, and expressions of gratitude as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Hunter Smith Band Building. Song selections from this show include Lil Nas X’s "Industry Baby," Taylor Swift’s "22," and a medley that includes music by Kenny Rogers.
OLIVIA HALE is a third-year majoring in Chemistry and Music and minoring in Statistics. She is part of the drumline. In the CMB, she's a Drill Instructor, Office Staff, and is involved with the CMB Media Committee.
By KYLE HUDGINS
Friday, October 15, 2021: St. Anne's Belfield School Performance
A number of CMB members volunteered for a performance at St Anne’s Belfield School’s convocation. The CMB performed various stand tunes for the students’ convocation, including “High Hopes,” “Hurricane Season,” “4 Minutes,” and “All I Do is Win.” The band ended its performance with "The Cavalier Song," and members in the crowd joined in to cheer on the Hoos.
Saturday, October 16, 2021: Homecoming Game vs. Duke
UVA’s first home game of October was the highly anticipated Homecoming game vs. Duke. While the University welcomed alumni home for the weekend with festivities all over grounds, the CMB welcomed back past members of the band, providing them with a chance to perform in Scott Stadium once again. CMB alumni joined the band on the field for Part 3 of the Next Episode halftime show, which included selections from the theme songs of I Love Lucy and The Jeffersons. In addition to these tunes performed alongside alumni, the CMB also performed selections from the themes of The Office, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Simpsons, and The Muppet Show.
Saturday, October 23, 2021: Family Weekend Game vs. Georgia Tech
The University welcomed students’ families to attend the UVA vs. Georgia Tech game during Family Weekend 2021. At this game, the CMB performed a brand new halftime show, entitled Cavalier Karaoke, just one week after their previous performance at the homecoming game. The show included renditions of ABBA’s “Dancing Queen,” “Africa” by Toto, and “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston. The band was once again joined by alumni for the final piece of this performance, welcoming members of the 2021 graduating class to perform in Scott Stadium after missing their final season with the CMB due to the pandemic. Band members were thrilled to have the chance to perform with their past bandmates one more time.
In addition to a great halftime performance, the CMB was ecstatic to perform in the stands for the first time this season. Due to an adjustment in UVA administrative restrictions, wind players were able to perform using bell covers and specialized masks at the October 21 game. It was an incredible step towards normalcy for the band and its audience, who had previously missed the full game day experience.
CMB members performed their pregame show at the October 23 football game vs. Georgia Tech. (Photo Credit: Tom Pajewski)
Tuesday, October 26 and Thursday, October 28, 2021: CMB HOOloween Activities
CMB members came in full force for Halloween festivities, with events planned for both rehearsal days during the week leading up to Halloween. On Tuesday, the band sorority, Tau Beta Sigma held a band-wide pumpkin carving competition. Every section carved its own pumpkin before rehearsal and presented it to the band during the post-rehearsal announcements. In the end, the drumline was victorious with their drum-themed pumpkin!
On Thursday, Tau Beta Sigma joined with the band fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi, to host a costume contest after rehearsal. Each section put together a group costume and a skit to go alongside it. Band members gathered in the Hunter Smith Band Building after Thursday’s rehearsal to perform their skits and show off their costumes, whose themes ranged from Mario Kart to bowl games.
CMB Drum Majors participated in the band-wide Halloween costume contest hosted by band sorority, Tau Beta Sigma, and band fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi. (Photo Credit: Tom Pajewski)
KYLE HUDGINS is a second-year student at UVA from Ashland, Virginia. He is majoring in Economics with a minor in Spanish. Kyle plays piccolo in the CMB.
- According to a recent @uvamarchingband Instagram poll, "Power" by Kanye West is everyone's favorite song to hear (and play) in the stands.
- The section who has the most followers on their Instagram page is the Twirlers with 1,084.
- The band can play in the stands now.
- The bus tradition "I went on Space Mountain 17 times" originates from a 2010 YouTube video entitled "A Day Well Spent."
- The band plays "Nessun Dorma" from Giacomo Puccini's opera Turandot as part of its warm-up.
- Band: 1, Tackitt: 0
By GABRIELA NICULESCU
Our November CMB alumni feature follows Bryan Myers. Myers graduated from the University’s School of Commerce in 2009 with a concentration in both Accounting and International Business. After an illustrious career in the Cavalier Marching Band (CMB) as drum major, he continued on to become the President & CEO of [solidcore], a boutique fitness concept based in Washington, DC. We are proud to feature Bryan this month as an alumnus of the CMB.
Drum Major Bryan Myers conducting the CMB (Photo provided by Bryan Myers)
Bryan entered the CMB as a member of the clarinet section. His favorite memory of his first year was the UVA-Florida State game when UVA defeated the Florida school for the first time in decades. “The atmosphere in Scott Stadium was absolutely insane. I’m not even a huge sports fan, but I got literal goosebumps when everyone rushed the field at the end of the game – such a great memory!” Myers said, reminiscing about his time marching.
After his first year, Bryan served as Drum Major of the CMB for the remainder of his college career, where he learned the most about what it means to be a leader. “It allowed me to find my confidence, interpersonal skills, leadership voice, and problem-solving skills – all of which have been critical to operating in more entrepreneurial environments, and taking on roles of increasing responsibility and leadership.” He added that UVA as a whole helped him become the successful leader and CEO he is today: “the notion of Student Self-Governance that is so prevalent at UVA inspired me to find a role that wasn’t a traditional '9-to-5' and was more entrepreneurial in nature.” The most important lesson Myers learned during his time at the University of Virginia and specifically in the CMB was that “it is also important to have fun while you’re doing it, and that’s a lesson that I’ve taken with me everywhere I’ve worked since I graduated from UVA.”
Bryan Myers is now the President and CEO of [solidcore], a boutique fitness concept based in DC which has studios in 22 states as well as at-home workout options. He lives in Falls Church, Virginia with his husband, Ted Cooper, and their dog, Dexter. The couple both come from musical backgrounds, so they are able to keep music in their lives. Myers says “it’s not uncommon to find one of us sitting down at the piano at our house doing our best to tap out a tune – especially during the Holiday season when we’re gearing up to host our Annual Holiday Sing-Along party!”
Bryan Myers and his husband, Ted Cooper (Photo provided by Bryan Myers)
Ted Cooper, Bryan Myers, and their dog Dexter (Photo provided by Bryan Myers)
Myers is also involved and engaged in the UVA Community. He is currently on the Board of the Ridley Scholars Foundation, which is an organization that provides scholarships and programming in order to attract Black students in the country to the University.
GABRIELA NICULESCU is a first-year majoring in Physics and minoring in Materials Science and Engineering. She plays the clarinet and is a member of the CMB Media and Communications Team. Go Hoos!
By ABBY KUPSTAS
Photo Credit: Tom Pajewski
If you applied to the University before the November 1st Early Decision and Early Action deadline, the Cavalier Marching Band congratulates you on your hard work and wishes you luck in the admissions process! While you wait to hear back from UVA, you can entertain yourself by keeping up with the CMB on our social media platforms!
If you chose to wait until the Regular Decision deadline to submit your application to UVA, this month's High School Corner is for you. We've compiled application advice from three current first-year CMB members who were in your shoes a year ago!
What was the hardest part of the college application process for you? How did you get past it?
"For me, it was sitting down and writing out my essays. I kept procrastinating it because writing is taxing for me and writing an essay to get into college is a daunting task. I got past it by scheduling 30-minute to one-hour blocks of time to write so I wouldn’t be overwhelmed." - Emily Toler, piccolo
"The hardest part was definitely all the essays...I got through it but I would NOT recommend waiting until the last minute!" - Hannah Martin, trumpet
"The hardest part for me was figuring out what exactly colleges wanted...This led to many stressful nights over one particular thing being the potential make-it-or-break-it factor in actually getting in or not. Eventually, after scouring example college essays and even reading insight from college admissions officers themselves, I developed this college admissions mindset." - Tony Chang, saxophone
What was the most memorable essay (in your eyes) that you wrote in your college application process? Why was it memorable?
"The most memorable essay was [in] my application for Duke...I talked about how life is like hiking through the mountains and I was really passionate while writing it. I’m really glad I didn’t end up at Duke but sometimes I think about that essay for inspiration on getting through school." - Emily Toler
"My most memorable essay was probably the one I wrote about wearing a Big Bird costume to school for Halloween...I tied it into my affinity for the embarrassing and making others smile." - Hannah Martin
"My most memorable essay was the main 650-word college admissions essay I wrote. I remember looking to College Board [and] I discovered that one of the biggest components was the 'You' part of the application...I started reminiscing over my entire life and how it led up to this moment, and I eventually started writing it down...I believe that it fully presented me as me,' letting me put my best foot forward." - Tony Chang
Did you incorporate band/music into your application in any way?
"I submitted an (optional) music portfolio for UVA and a few other schools that included 2 pieces with me playing flute and a piano accompaniment. [I] would highly recommend, [as] it was a constructive experience and the flute instructor here at UVA reached out to me to welcome me to UVA music, which shows the quality and care in our music program." - Emily Toler
"My [Common Application] essay was about the “Dies Irae”, which started as a Gregorian chant but is now a common musical motif for death, and many of my individual college essays mentioned marching band because it’s really important to me! I knew that wherever I ended up going, I would audition for the band, and I wanted admissions officers to know that." - Hannah Martin
"Many of the clubs I included were also band clubs and some of my achievements were music performance-based. Besides all of the clubs, music was also an integral part of my college admissions essay because of its impact on my life. It even got in with some of the later questions in my applications." - Tony Chang
ABBY KUPSTAS is a first-year majoring in Youth & Social Innovation. She is a member of the CMB's saxophone section and is involved in the CMB Media Committee. She also runs the Instagram account for the saxophone section (@uvasaxophones) and hopes you drop a follow!
By LAUREN LAM
Members of the CMB saxophone section on a game day bus ride to Slaughter Recreation Center (Photo Credit: Tom Pajewski)
While the Cavalier Marching Band is known for its instrumental skills, our members also display their musical talents through singing! One CMB tradition in particular — which has been around for so long that its origin is unknown — shows off this talent: singing songs on the bus to Slaughter Recreation Center before home football games.
(Drumline is an exception to this tradition since they spend the bus ride practicing.)
The first song, entitled “I’m So Glad,” expresses the joy of being a student of the University of Virginia rather than a student of other rival schools. Then comes “Glory to Virginia,” sung to the tune of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” which also features each section as they dedicate a “glory glory” to Virginia, their instrument, and even their bus driver! For some sections, a rap that is unique to each football game may be added to the end of the song.
Next, some sections belt out pregame favorites like “The Cavalier Song,” “Let’s Go Hoos,” and “Hey Cheer” in anticipation of the upcoming pregame performance. Other songs during the bus ride include “Hoo Time,” the drumline tag, and stand tune favorites like “Power” and “Party Like a Rockstar.” The phrase “I went on Space Mountain seventeen times” from the YouTube video “A Day Well Spent” might make an appearance as well.
The last song students sing before getting off the bus is “We’re Here Because We’re Here,” a part of which can trace its origins back to the trenches of World War I. Sung to the tune of “Auld Lang Syne,” this song states the obvious: “We’re here because the bus is here, and we are on the bus.” Other versions of the song include a Spanish language version and a “sneer” version, where the first syllable of every word is replaced by “sneer.” Some of the sections add languages like Russian as their bilingual section mates provide translations of the song. All of these songs lead up to an exciting football game where the band prepares to cheer the football team on to victory.
LAUREN LAM is a first-year clarinetist majoring in Biology on a Pre-Dental track. In the CMB, she is involved in the Media and Communications Committee and the Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
By MAAHI VYAS
With the arrival of November, Thanksgiving traditions such as the Macy’s Day Parade are right around the corner. After a virtual parade last year, this year's 95th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade signals hope and a return to more normal times. The CMB is proud to present three different marchers who will be marching in this year’s parade: Megan Mawby, Tori O’Neill, and Olivia Hale. Originally, these students marched in the parade as members of the Macy’s Great American Marching Band in high school; this year, they will return as marchers in the Alumni Band.
Tori is a fourth-year member of the color guard who initially marched in the Macy's parade in November 2017. This year, she’s excited to bring the experience she has gained over the last four years, as well as a more relaxed attitude. The parade has been something Tori has been anticipating, especially after spending the last year and a half in the pandemic. She is “looking forward to the community" of the Alumni Band and "being able to make people happy through the power of band.” A fond memory of hers from four years ago is going to Dave and Buster’s the night before the parade, meeting new people, and exploring New York City, which made for a relaxing night leading up to the parade. This year, Tori's best friend and roommate Megan will be accompanying her as they both participate in the parade that marks where they first bonded over shared interests.
Photos courtesy of Tori O'Neill
Megan is a fourth-year color guard member who first marched in the parade in 2016. She is excited for the unique experience of Alumni Band this year and is glad to have the opportunity of marching in the parade one last time. She is especially looking forward to participating with Tori this year in addition to catching up with friends she made back in 2016. Feeling more confident in her spinning abilities, she thinks this year will be much more enjoyable. Her fond memory from 2016 is eating at Guy Fieri’s restaurant with a friend, reflecting on how funny the night was as the band sang and became the “Macy’s Great American Choir." Although she’s expecting to be lacking sleep as she returns home right before the CMB rehearsal on Friday night, Megan is looking forward to the whole spectacle. She loves watching the Macy’s Parade every year, and “getting to be part of it makes [her] so happy inside."
Photo courtesy of Megan Mawby
Olivia is a third-year drumline member who first marched in the Macy's Parade on saxophone in 2017. In 2017, felt undecided about her academic pursuits. Now, as she returns to the parade, she plans to tell her old friends that she is now majoring in music, minoring in statistics, and studying on the pre-medicine track at UVA. Overall, she thinks it is amazing to be in the same parade that people watch on TV each year. She fondly remembers it was “funny how rehearsals with the band at 2 AM on Herald Square" were followed by "sleeping at tables in the Hard Rock Café among members of the different bands." Olivia may not be looking forward to the cold that comes with waking up on a November morning, but she still views being able to play as a sign that life is returning to normal after COVID.
Photo courtesy of Olivia Hale
MAAHI VYAS is a first-year clarinetist majoring in Women, Gender, and Sexuality and Mathematics in the College of Arts & Sciences. She is involved in the Media & Communications Committee and the Committee for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Wahoowa!
For over 200 years, UVA has prepared students to lead through knowledge. One of the largest and most visible ensembles on grounds is the Cavalier Marching Band. Since 2004, the CMB has worn UVA Orange and Blue, embodying the spirit of the University’s founding vision of discovery, innovation, and development of the full potential of our talented students.
We constantly work to improve the student experience for our marchers. Our supporters are families, alumni, and advocates who believe the Cavalier Marching Band makes a lasting impact in the lives of its members. Please consider making a gift today to support the mission of the Cavalier Marching Band!
We currently have a vast community of supporters already giving back to the CMB, with our Sept. 15 and Oct. 1 benefactor meetings being attended by over 90 participants! Giving back to the CMB allows you to join an already large community of supporters.
Ways to Give
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Thank you for your continued support!