JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — East Tennessee’s athletic musical ensemble the Marching Bucs will march on this upcoming season after its hiatus due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.
Dozens of incoming Bucs signed with the band Monday night in a ceremony that aimed to recognize the talent and athleticism of seniors who put in the practice and hard work toward transforming from a high school marching band member to a college ensemble.
News Channel 11 spoke with ETSU’s assistant director of athletic bands, Reilly Fox, who said the department believes marching band members put forth effort just as athletes do and have earned the recognition.
“We feel that it’s important for the student musicians to be able to do the same thing that their peers do in high school just to recognize all the hard work and effort that they put in throughout high school to get to this point to be in a college musical ensemble,” Fox said.
Dozens more are expected to sign on in Tuesday evening’s ceremony at the Martin Center auditorium as well.
The department also announced plans for a living and learning community for those involved in the arts on campus.
“It’s an opportunity for students who choose to live on campus to stay on the same floor and area as people who also study in the same type of field that they do,” Fox said. “So, music students will have the opportunity to live with other music students whether it be in marching band, in choir, in blue grass — just have a nice community where everybody shares the same background.”
Fox said this option will give students the opportunity to integrate more easily into campus living and meet those with similar interests and aspirations.
“A lot of people coming into school from several hours away may not know anybody, so even if they’re not in marching band — if they’re in bluegrass/old-time country music — they’ll be able to move in and meet people instantly and make friends.”
The assistant director said that this season entails two classes of new members — incoming freshmen along with sophomores who have not been a part of the program before due to the pandemic.