‘We’ve got the heartbeat of the band in place,’ Augustana University in first phase of reviving Marching Band

Education

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Augustana University’s marching band was first documented in 1936. They proudly played until 1977 where it was unexpectedly canceled. With the launch of their new School of Music, they’re looking to bring it back for everyone to enjoy.

“The Marching Vikings” in the fall of 1977. Photo Courtesy: Augustana University.

Today, they’re making quite a bit of noise announcing the revival of their Marching Band.

Today’s drumline. Photo Courtesy: Augustana University.

“I really think that this is going to bring excitement to our campus community. I think it’s going to bring excitement to our game day experience like we don’t even know yet,” Director of Bands Dr. Christopher Unger said.

It was disbanded in 1977. From then on, the band only appeared to play in Viking Days parades through the 90’s.

“We just felt like with launching the school of music that this is a prime opportunity to bring that back, and just create a much better Game Day atmosphere, just amp up the spirit of the campus,” School of Music Assistant Director of Bands Dr. Larry Petersen said.

School of Music Assistant Band Director Larry Petersen and Director of Bands Christopher Unger are spearheading its return. Petersen will be in charge of directing the band itself, while Unger will help arrange the music.​

“We decided on a two-phase launch of the marching band starting with getting our drumline going,” Unger said.

“We’ve got the heartbeat of the band in place,” Unger said.

​The group has been playing all around campus for various events.

“There are a lot of preparations underway, like… the final touches of uniforms are underway and we’ll be ordering instruments for our players in the new year and then getting personnel in place to launching Marching Band Camp in August,” Unger said.

A look at the new uniforms. Photo Courtesy: Augustana University.

They’re hoping the band will capture the feel of a college campus and the attention of students still deciding where to go for an education.

“Meeting with students this year has been really exciting because when I mention the new marching band their eyes just kind of light up like, ‘That’s good because that’s what I want,’ I think it’s really going to drive enrollment for us,” Petersen said.

​Students in the band will be granted a $3,000 academic scholarship. The Marching Band officially launches in the Fall of 2021. Students will be able to sign up early next year.

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