October 2022

October 2022

Letter From the Director


I hope each of you is enjoying the first few weeks of fall. Cavalier Marching Band #19 has been working hard since day one, and we are so proud of their accomplishments. It has been such a joy to see the students form new friendships and support each other on and off the field.

Some highlights include the CMB’s return to the Charlottesville Mall for Paint the Town Orange, our halftime show welcoming Coach Tony Elliott to UVA, our Video Games halftime show which featured soundtracks of our favorite video games, and our most recent halftime show, “Billboard Charts Rewind,” including artists ranging from Nicki Minaj to Britney Spears. On October 29, the band will perform “Haunted Hooville,” and will be joined by the UVA Dance Team!

I want to thank each of you who supported the band in the 2021-2022 season. Your support quite literally allows us to provide the best experience possible for CMB members.

Calling all Alums! CMB Alumni are welcome to stop by section 104 during each CMB halftime show to reconnect! My thanks to Kelly Graham and the CMBAA Board for mentioning this awesome gameday tradition.

UVA Bands has a small block of season tickets that marchers can request for family members through our CMB Member ticket request form. They are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, and are transferred electronically. Second, if you plan to attend a gameday practice and have a budding young conductor in your family (under 10), we would be honored to have them lead the band through the Cavalier Fanfare and Cavalier Song during our warm-up. Please email me to add their name to the “selection hat”!

I want to wish you all a wonderful October, and hope to see many of you soon.

All my best,


Sock Wars: Let the Hunger Games Begin


Second year saxophone player Tony Chang sports an all-pink ensemble for the “dress like Nicki Minaj” immunity. (Photo Credit: Tom Pajewski)


Mid-September means many things to the CMB. The semester is getting into full swing, we now have regular rehearsals every Tuesday and Thursday, and we cheer on our football team on Saturdays. Most important of them all, however, is the beginning of a beloved CMB sporting tradition: Sock Wars. Sock Wars is an “assassin”-style game put on by the lovely members of Kappa Kappa Psi, the band fraternity. Each participating band member receives a target that they must tag with a sock within a week's time. To ensure the longevity of the game, there are specific unique and daily “immunities” that one must perform to be safe from an assassin’s sock. Examples of these immunities include using a banana as a phone, wearing a bagel on a necklace, and sporting a bowl as a hat.

There were 145 sock warriors at the start of the game. Two sections, the saxophones and the trumpets, tied for the most amount of section member participation with 24 each. After 10 long days, only 31 participants remained. Many reasons, such as not performing the immunity, contributed to the number dwindling so low after only a week and a half. However, some sock warriors were eliminated in very elaborate ways. One of the most outstanding kills was when one unnamed participant organized a fake interview to sock their unsuspecting first-year target. The section with the highest number of eliminations as of 9/30 is the saxophones with 25 (or 36% of all eliminations!). Additionally, there is one particular sock warrior who leads the CMB in sock assassinations with 5, an impressive feat! Sock Wars is still continuing at the time of writing this article, but the winner will be decided soon…


DREW THEDE is a fourth-year majoring in Biomedical Engineering. He is a member of the saxophone section in the CMB.

This Month's Events


CMB woodwinds perform the pregame show at the October 9 game vs. Louisville. (Photo Credit: Tom Pajewski)

Football Games

October 8 - UVA vs. Louisville

The Cavalier Marching Band will be taking Charlottesville on a short trip back in time with a show entitled Billboard Charts Rewind. Several hits from the past two decades, including “Starships” by Nicki Minaj, “Yeah!” by Usher, “Toxic” by Britney Spears, and “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus are on the playlist for the night. Expect to see visual homages to the artists on the field in addition to the CMB’s rendition of each track, and get ready for a rush of nostalgia (and a bit of sadness) as the realization that these songs are, in fact, throwbacks hits.

October 29 - UVA vs. Miami

BOO! Don’t get too scared by the Cavalier Marching Band’s Haunted HOOville halftime show. Prepare for chills down your spine from the chilly October weather alongside a spooktacular set of pieces. The CMB will perform “Danse Macabre” by Camille Saint-Saens, “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr., and “Thriller” by Michael Jackson. This game falls on Family Weekend, so there’s no better time to support the CMB with some blood-curdling screams from the stands!

Sports Events (volunteer pep band present)

October 6Women’s Soccer vs. Pittsburgh

October 15 Blue-White Basketball Scrimmage (Men's and Women's UVA Basketball Team Season Introduction)

October 22 - Swimming and Diving vs. Florida (National Championship Celebration)

October 22 - Men’s Soccer vs. Wake Forest

October 23Women’s Soccer vs. NC State

UVA Community Event (volunteer drumline present)

October 15 - Black Student Alliance outreach event "The Finale


October 19 - CMB Giving Event

Past Events


Football Games

September 3 - UVA vs. Richmond

The Cavalier Marching Band opened the 2022 football season with a warm welcome to Tony Elliott, UVA Football’s new Head Coach, in a halftime show consisting of some of his favorite tunes. In addition to Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” and Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September”, the CMB performed a mashup of three of Elliott’s favorite songs: “Dreams and Nightmares” by Meek Mill, “Song Cry” by Jay-Z, and “All In” by DaBaby. The CMB wishes Elliott the best of luck throughout his first season at UVA.

September 17 - UVA vs. Old Dominion

Bosses were defeated and coins were collected in the second halftime show of the season: Video Games! Selections included the themes from The Legend of Zelda and Mario by Koji Kondo, as well as the Halo theme by Sean Callery, the theme from Elder Scrolls: Oblivion by Jeremy Soule and “Megalovania” from Undertale by Toby Fox. Scott Stadium had a blast as they were transported into the pixelated world of some of the greatest video games of all time.

Sports Events (volunteer pep band present)

September  23 Volleyball vs. NC State

September 25 - Women's Soccer vs. Louisville

September 28 - Volleyball vs. Pittsburgh

High School Corner: The First-Year Experience


The media committee interviewed three CMB first-years about their experience transitioning from high school to college.

Ibraheem Quereshi (he/him)
West Chester, PA
Undecided major; hopeful pre-med track


Henry Allen (he/him)
Richmond, VA
Undecided major; interests include Global Studies, Korean, Data Science

Clara Szlyk (she/her)
Fredericksburg, VA
Chemistry major, pre-med track; Spanish minor


How is college different from high school?

“College…has come with a decent amount of responsibility but endless academic and social freedom. If you are coming from a high school curriculum where every block was filled with a class you had no choice in taking, college will be the most transformative experience in actually choosing your own path.” ~Henry

“In college, you have so much more freedom, and not only in regard to your academics. It is entirely up to you…how you spend your time and what groups you are a part of. While this is a little intimidating at first, it becomes more and more exciting, especially when you start meeting new people and trying new things.” ~Clara

“UVA is much bigger than my HS, so getting used to the size of Grounds and the student body has definitely been a challenge. There is also a lot more autonomy is college than is HS. You have to take the initiative to meet other people, do your homework, find activities, and most importantly, take care of yourself. Also, as an out-of-state student, UVA can feel more foreign at times because a ton of people from my high school didn’t come here. However, the benefit of college being so different from HS is that there is more time for self reflection and discovery… It is definitely a nice change to get out of the consistent environment where I grew up to a place like UVA, where I have lots of freedom to explore.” ~Ibraheem


How has joining the CMB helped your transition to college?

“Joining the CMB gave me a community that I could belong to right away. I am not the most social person, so I was concerned that I would have trouble making friends when I can to college. Luckily, I found very good friends in band who I am so glad to have met. The CMB also gave me access to an extensive network of upperclassmen who have helped me both academically and socially throughout these first 2 months. I would also say that the CMB gives me a nice outlet that I can use to decompress if I have had a lot of heavy classes that day. Finally, the CMB does a lot to ensure that new members feel supported and included, which I greatly appreciate. As a POC, I have never felt out of place in the CMB.” ~Ibraheem

“I get the sense that everyone is secretly nervous about the social aspect of college, but the CMB provided an immediate 240 friends as soon as I arrived. Easily the most important gift the CMB gives to the Charlottesville community, the compassion of its members helped me realize I was home.”  ~Henry

Joining the CMB was such an incredible way to start my college experience. Not only was I able to move in before the rest of my hall (it was a very stress-free move-in experience), but I was also able to meet so many amazing people before the school year started. I am the only student from my high school who is currently in the CMB so part of me was worried about finding my niche and community in a new band. I was certainly mistaken. Everyone is so welcoming and supportive, and I could not have asked for a better way to start my time at UVA.” ~Clara


What is something you would like to tell prospective CMB students?

Before joining the CMB I had the pleasure of talking with several band members at a UVA admitted students event. My biggest question/concern was about how to balance band, academics, activities…etc. As a prospective pre-med student, I was concerned about how challenging it might be to be in the band and pursue my academic dreams. Every student that I talked with emphasized that it is more than possible to have a challenging academic career/schedule and be a CMB member. For example, the CMB has students in dozens of majors...In addition, many students are also RAs, guides, TAs, and more. In other words, being in the CMB is suitable for all types of students with all types of interests and goals.” ~Clara

“If you have always done music alongside academics, don’t let college be the time you stop that. When I was in your shoes, I didn’t know if I’d continue marching once I was in college, but I can say with confidence that I have never had to make academic sacrifices for the CMB nor should you ever expect to.” ~Henry

“Don’t be afraid of the time commitment for [the] CMB. Doing marching band at the collegiate level might seem daunting, but it is much more manageable than it might seem. Additionally, I would say that don’t feel pressured to make band your everything. College is a time to explore, and while the CMB has been an amazing introduction, I also am in other clubs and have friends outside of the CMB. Finally, do not be afraid to advocate for yourself. There may be a day when you just need a break, and if so, take it. You should always be your number one advocate.” ~Ibraheem


ABBY KUPSTAS is a 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.