By Andy Lipton
Special To Daly Dose of Hoops
The game may be the thing, but for college basketball fans and the players themselves, having pep bands, cheerleaders, and dancing teams perform before games, between halves and quarters, and during timeouts, adds excitement, electricity and motivation that can seep into us or be a shot of adrenaline. They are an important part of the landscape of college basketball and our enjoyment of the games.
The St. John’s University pep band, under the direction of Courtney White, has been part of my college basketball experience for a long, long time. I thought it was time for fans to get to know them a little bit better. As a collective, the band members are dedicated and loyal to St. John’s University and have a camaraderie amongst each other. And although at games we may take their talents for granted, watching them rehearse brings their wonderful musical talent into focus. It was hard not to be impressed by the individual band members of the band with whom I spoke. They are intelligent, nice, well-spoken, passionate, enthusiastic, and hard-working.
Besides doing their schoolwork, band members have to perform at roughly (it may vary from year to year) 90 school events a year, which includes rehearsals. They perform at basketball, soccer, and some lacrosse games, events related to upcoming games, and student recruiting events. And if you have ever tried to play an instrument, you know you have to practice a lot by yourself.
Here is a closer look at the St. John’s University pep band: