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Marching Band Drums Up School Spirit

Andrew Timosca, ’14, has been playing instruments since the fourth grade, when he picked up the clarinet. For the last four years, he has been playing the baritone, and within the last year he learned the tuba, which he is playing in the Chargers Marching Band this year.

“I enjoyed marching band in high school and I wanted to continue it in college,” says Timosca, a graphic design major.

At the first football game of the year, the marching band unveiled a routine featuring Lady Gaga’s music. The group also showcases their skills at events around campus.

Directing the band is Jason DeGroff, an accomplished musician in his own right. He came to UNH nearly three years ago to help build the band, which began with the return of football. When he arrived, the band had about 20 members. After one year, that number had tripled, and it has since ballooned to more than 100.

“The band is a melting pot of all different students, backgrounds and majors,” says DeGroff, noting that students hail from Florida, Texas, California, Oregon and Washington. “No matter what they are studying, students can continue their love of music.”

Timosca is one of those members with a strong background in band. Last summer, he was a member of the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps in Allentown, Pa., which captured the world championship at the Drum Corps International World Championship. In September, Timosca was part of a band that performed for the President of the United States and 40 world leaders at the United Nations.

“I think the band creates school spirit by having members who are extremely enthusiastic about the music and the show,” says Timosca. “That really spreads through the school.”

“The energy created by the band is great for the University and the community,” adds DeGroff.

Contributing to the festive atmosphere on game day is a new fight song that was unveiled earlier this year by the athletics department. The selection was written by Albert Celotto, assistant professor of music, and the band arrangement to accompany the piece was composed by DeGroff.

“A good fight song is something that raises the spirits of the fans and players,” says Celotto. “This enthusiasm is contagious and creates a bond for those participating.”

One of the students helping to energize the crowd is William Hanley, ’12, who joined the marching band because he loves being around music, which he has enjoyed as long as he can remember.

“My parents claim that when I was in diapers, the only thing that would calm me down were Disney sing-a-long tapes,” he says.

In high school, Hanley was a member of the marching, pep, jazz and concert bands. He says his favorite benefit of playing at UNH is the people he has met.

“The cool thing is that a lot of the members are not music majors,” says the saxophonist. “I learned how a group of people could come together and focus on a common goal of putting on great shows.”

“The band members pour their heart and soul into their performance,” adds DeGroff. “The band can be a great recruiting tool for the school. I think they will be great ambassadors for the University.”

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