Pep Band Travels to Chicago to Cheer on CUNE
Photo courtesy of Bulldog Band
By Elisha Meyer
Concordia’s Bulldog Band made its 14th annual trip to the Concordia Invitational Tournament in Chicago last weekend.
The trip serves as the pinnacle event for the university’s pep band.
“I’ve been to them every year that I’ve been here,” Bulldog Band Director Andrew Schultz said.
The band is often found playing at several athletic events on CUNEs campus. So far, fans have heard the ensemble at all home football games and select volleyball and basketball games.
The band is made up of students with various backgrounds that range from amateur musician to full-blown music major. Whatever the case may be, these members combine to perform a variety of gameday songs from the past and present. The band is often responsible for the playing of the national anthem before any athletic event it attends.
Many seniors used CIT as an opportunity to reflect on their time with the band, as they made this trip for the last time as students. Senior Aaron Huesmann, who has played at three CITs, said that CIT has always found a special place in his heart, no matter the location.
“It’s always a really cool experience,” Huesmann said. “The entire experience is pretty much the same wherever you go.”
Concordia also had its share of freshmen join the band this year, many of whom attended CIT for the first time. Freshman Jayson Klaumann was excited to travel back to Chicago after he did so with his high school band. He said that he was ready to help show what the Bulldog Band could do.
“I’ve been really enjoying band as a whole,” Klaumann said. “We have good energy. We have great excitement. I’m sure that will transfer over when we get to the tournament. It’s probably going to be even more.”
Band members joined the multitude of students traveling to Chicago for a variety of events. The basketball games for both men’s and women’s teams served as the main event, with halftime performances and a separate competition by the schools’ cheer and dance teams.
While the Bulldog Band does not actively compete at the annual gathering, CIT represents another rivalry between all four schools’ pep bands. Husemann said that this trip to Chicago was especially exciting for that very reason.
“Our pep band and Chicago’s pep band just have this great synergy,” Husemann said. “We don’t care how the games are going. We just love to play with each other.”
Schulz agreed that the relationship with the other Concordia pep bands is a friendly one. He said that his band members, regardless of competitions, were there to be good stewards of Christ and Concordia.
“I think we’re really just trying to be good representatives of the university, giving God glory in all that we do and being fierce competitors and fans for our team,” Schulz said.
The schedule for the Bulldog Band will not be as hectic next year, as Seward will host CIT in 2021.