Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 8
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

First-years unearth old school traditions, win ASWC support for new pep band

Photo Credit : Gold

The newly formed Whitman pep band has unearthed the school fight song.

“Most people don’t know about it though,” said first-year Adam Gilbert, co-founder of the pep band with first-year Owen Lowry.

The song is so buried in obscurity that the words are unknown even to senior faculty members.

“I don’t think anyone’s heard it in so long and everyone just forgot about it, even Pete Crawford, who’s been around forever,” Lowry said.

“Actually,” said Gilbert, “Our high school government history teacher went to Whitman, and when I went to visit my high school and was like, ‘Hey, we found a fight song,’ she started singing it: so maybe we can get the words from her. She must’ve gone here 40 years ago or something.”

Gilbert and Lowry found the fight song while searching for pep band sheet music in the basement of Chism. The rediscovery of the fight song is just the beginning of their efforts; Gilbert and Lowry hope that the pep band will help spur a revival of school spirit.

“[A pep band] really helps the crowd get into a game,” said Lowry. “I think the pep band would really help boost school spirit because I think there’s a reputation around here of Whitman not being as spirited. We could also play at intramural games, which would also bring more people out to watch those, and just make it more fun, which I think is our main goal.”

The pep band is also a good opportunity for those not necessarily into sports to get involved in school spirit, Gilbert and Lowry believe.

“It’s something for musical people with instruments to do,” said Gilbert.

The Whitman pep band has been long in the making. Gilbert and Lowry’s efforts are the latest in a line of attempts over the years to start a pep band.

“They’ve been created with varying degrees of success: although never really as an ASWC club, so maybe that’ll help us stay,” said Gilbert.

Peter Crawford, director of the wind ensemble and faculty adviser for the pep band, noted that past pep bands “typically were driven by a motivated student or couple of students, and then when those students leave the drive is gone and [the pep band] kind of goes away.

The onus is on the students to organize and run the pep band.

“We don’t have the facilities or the staff available here to have a pep band director,” said Crawford.   “So we leave it up to the students.”

Gilbert and Lowry decided to start the pep band in order to carry over a good experience they’d had in high school.

“We were both in pep band in high school and we got here and there wasn’t a pep band, and we thought it would be really fun to start one.   We really enjoyed playing really informal fun music at sports games [in high school],” said Gilbert.

Gilbert and Lowry then went through the necessary steps to start the pep band as an ASWC club. After writing a constitution and finding a faculty adviser, Gilbert and Lowry went to a student senate meeting in December where they presented their proposal for the pep band. Soon afterwards it was an official ASWC club.

However, attendance at the first few meetings was sparse.

“The problem was at our first couple meetings we really didn’t do enough to get the word out about the pep band or bother people about coming to the meeting,” said Lowry. “So we made these advertisements and we also started talking to people a lot more and getting the word out through word of mouth about the pep band.”

For a newly emerging club, it’s a struggle to find a time slot that fits most students’ schedules that is not already filled by other clubs.

“People at Whitman are really busy, so it’s going to be hard to find a good time, but we’re going to have to compromise somewhere. So that’s our next step right now, to find out a good meeting time for everyone,” said Lowry. “We want as many people to join the pep band as possible.”

“More people is more fun,” added Gilbert.

Those interested in joining the pep band should e-mail either Gilbert or Lowry at [email protected] or [email protected].

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