Pioneer Pep Band: James Doh

Great basketball teams, loud student crowds, and supportive parents are not everything to a basketball game. This 2016-2017 school year, Mr. Will Talaba, the music director at Western Reserve Academy, has come up with the great idea of providing even more support for our basketball teams: The Pioneer Pep Band.

The Pioneer Pep Band is composed of brilliant, young musicians who are willing to entertain and pump up a crowd. Although the pep band existed in the past at WRA, it was extremely difficult to make it a cohesive group because all the students had afternoon commitments and could not always come to the basketball games. By making it a sport, Mr. Talaba has created a new group that is able to meet up every afternoon to practice.

Mr. Talaba remarked, “This is the first year the pep band has been offered as a winter sport. This option allows musicians to continue their music education and support the varsity boys and girls basketball teams”. The head coach Mr. Thomas Adams-Wall added, “the Pioneer Pep Band is a great opportunity for the musicians not only to support our basketball teams, but also to perform and show off in front of their peers.” Furthermore, Peter Campanelli ’18, one of the members of the band, shows his devotion to be part of playing music: “I really like playing drums and having the opportunity to play the drums as a sport.”

Not only does the band play fun music at basketball games, but they also delve into classical styled music and will soon be performing to compete at Ohio Indoor Performance Association in late February. In this competition, the group will perform “Magia De La Luna,” written by Mr. Talaba, on a tarp the size of the basketball court. It is called the “sport of the arts” because it brings music to life through performance in a competitive format.

The Pioneer Pep Band, from pumping up a crowd to transforming music into life, requires not only music skills but also dedication and effort. Practicing every afternoon and sometimes over the weekends, the members of the band develop their skills to collaborate with one another. Together, moving and making music, they make a very unique group.

-James Doh ’20

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