The 2016-17 Alumni Pep Band started our schedule with a busy and successful fall under the direction of Dr. James Nissen and Grace Wolfe. We have been working at rehearsals to refine our existing repertoire, and have added a few pieces back into the rotation as well, such as “One O’Clock Jump”. We played at the hockey game on the Friday night before Homecoming against Michigan Tech and were conducted by Grace Wolfe. The highlight of the night was being in attendance to watch members of the 1996 National Championship team be honored and then participate in a quite memorable game of Score-O. We also played at two hockey games against Lake Superior State University over Thanksgiving weekend, where we were again well-received.
The Alumni Pep Band finished its busiest stretch of the year during the past holiday season. We played at two men’s basketball games, the highlight being the first performance at the game against Maryland-Eastern Shore, where we saw the team put up 98 points. We also played at one women’s basketball game in late December, where the team beat Rutgers to open Big Ten play. Our last traditional performance was playing at the last Great Lakes Invitational to be held in Joe Louis Arena.
Dr. Pasquale was kind enough to request that the Alumni Pep Band play for a charity hockey game at Yost on January 7th between University of Michigan Hockey Alumni and Detroit Red Wings Alumni to benefit Scott Matzka, former Michigan hockey player from 1997-2001, who was diagnosed with ALS in September of 2015. It was an honor to play for such a meaningful event, which was attended by nearly 2,000 guests and raised over $25,000 for his foundation, My Turn.
The spring season started with Women’s Water Polo. The pep band played at Senior Day, for a nationally televised match against Indiana, resulting in a 11-6 Michigan Victory. The pep band performed at a number of Softball games this spring, including games against Northwestern, Michigan State, Western Michigan, and MSU again in the Big Ten Tournament. The team fought hard but ended the season in the NCAA regionals in Seattle.
We have had the privilege of having Dr. Jim Nissen as one of our pep band co-conductors for the last few years. Jim is a professor at both Schoolcraft and U of M Dearborn. Jim has been asked by his dean to take on additional instructional responsibilities in the fall, and as a result has informed us he must resign as co-conductor of the Alumni Pep Band. We extend our thanks to Jim for his service to UMBAA and the Alumni Pep Band, and wish him the best.
Grace Wolfe, our other co-conductor is staying on! After consultation with John Pasquale and the ensembles committee, we have agreed that Grace will take a lead role. We are now in need of an associate director. The search is underway. John Pasquale and Grace will be leading the search in collaboration with the UMBAA board.
We hope to move quickly with this process and have a new associate director in place as soon as possible.
If you would like to join us, please contact Pete Dalton at firstname.lastname@example.org. You must be a current dues-paying member of UMBAA to participate.