Athletic Department adds pep to their step

IUS Horizon

The Athletic Department recently announced the addition of a campus pep band to play at this year’s basketball games.

This is the first pep band in the university’s history, and Joe Glover, athletic director, said he could not be more excited about the newest addition to the Athletic Department and the school.

“It’s really exciting for me,” Glover said.  “We have been trying, as a school, to get more students, and we’d like to get more student involvement at games. I think this pep band will get more school spirit at the school.”

Glover, said he and Denny Williams, assistant athletic director, first thought of the idea in February when a local high school’s pep band played at the Homecoming game. They brought the idea to the Student Life Committee, who then helped get the pep band started.
Williams said they began to ask local band directors to help take on the new pep band, but all of them said they had too much on their plates already.  Glover’s fiancé, Melissa, was a 2006 graduate from Floyd Central High School and recommended Jennifer Spainhour, fellow Floyd Central graduate.
Now, Spainhour is the new pep band director. She graduated from the University of Louisville in 2010 with a degree in music education
“I was hired as the pep band director a couple weeks ago,” she said. “I heard about the position from a fellow Floyd Central alumnus who suggested I apply for the position. The interview process was a pretty straightforward process. I interviewed with the athletic directors and the vice chancellor.”
Glover said what impressed him the most about Spainhour was her organization.
“She is very young, but her organization skills are phenomenal,” he said. “She told us exactly what we would need, where to go, everything.”
Spainhour said the biggest issue is finding people who are interested in playing.
“I am holding an interest meeting to gauge more interest and to hopefully pull more people in,” she said. “The other part of starting a pep band from scratch is finding good music people will like to play, and the crowd will like to listen to. The last part is finding instruments for the band to play. Not many people own their own marching tuba.”
Glover said, realistically, he would like the band to begin playing for basketball games around January because it would be too rushed to have them play the first basketball game of the season, which starts in three weeks.
“We want to take our time and do it right,” he said.  “The foundation is very important.”
Williams said the band will sound great no matter what the size.
“It would be perfect,” he said. “Even if we only get 20 members, it’ll sound  great in our facility with it being as small as it is.”
Spainhour said she is very excited about starting a pep band because she knows the type of energy and excitement a great band can bring to a game from her four years in Floyd Central’s pep band.  She also said she is excited and intimidated about being the first pep band director in the university’s history.
“Whatever happens this year will set a precedence for years to come, so I am going to strive for a successful ensemble — no matter the size — that is classy, energetic and full of great players,” Spainhour said.

By AMANDA CHIAMULERA
Staff
alchiamu@umail.iu.edu