This fall The Temple University Diamond Band faces an unprecedented challenge, one that they have never faced before. They have to learn four marching band shows in five weeks.
That may not seem that big of a challenge, but considering that the band only rehearses three days a week, that’s a tall order even for one of the best marching bands in the country.
“It puts a big challenge up for us, and since we only rehearse three days a week there are a couple shows where we literally only have three days to put a whole show together,” says Dr. Matthew Brunner, director of athletic bands at Temple University.
The band must learn a show for the home football game against Army, then another show for the following week for the home game against Stoney Brook. The band then has a one week break where they must prepare two more new shows for the following two home football games against Charlotte and SMU.
And a marching band show is not just a bunch of kids walking around playing instruments. Drum Major, Kyle Callahan, explains, “A whole show is typically three to four songs, a whole dance with a drum break with full drill on the field, so to do that in realistically six hours is a lot to ask for”. And in addition to all of that, they have to do it all from memory when they perform.
To help quicken the learning process the band has gone completely paperless, substituting paper with iPads and smart phones. The mobile marching band apps play an important role in increasing the bands efficiency, which is critical when facing a demanding schedule like the one they face this fall. “Going paperless has been great. It’s been a big help, from using drill to using music: I don’t have any paper on me,” said junior drumline member, Ryan Amodai.
Although the future may look daunting, the band members have a positive outlook. “It’s going to be challenging, but we can do it,” said twirler Inga Maric.
You can watch the Diamond Band’s first performance of the season this Friday night when the Temple Owls take on Army. Kickoff is at 7:00pm and you can catch the Band right before kickoff and at half time.