By Christian McCarville
Attending a Rider athletic event would not be the same without hearing the thundering instruments of Rider’s Pep Band. It always brings energy and fun to any event where it performs. The pep band breathes life into home sporting events, providing the soundtrack to the triumphant athletic achievements made by the Broncs.
The pep band is most commonly found at basketball games and it even travels with the team to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) championships. However, basketball games are not the only events where one can catch the pep band performing. The band plays at various other athletic events including soccer games, as well as Relay For Life, Celebration of Lights and ArtBeast.
The presence of the pep band at home athletic events serves to enhance the event for the audience, while also motivating the Broncs to victory.
“When it comes to home games, I really think it gets everyone excited to be there,” said junior elementary education major and Secretary of the pep band Pamela D’Addato. “We have specific songs that we see fans start singing along to, ‘Sweet Caroline’ to be specific, and the men’s basketball team once started getting really into the way we were playing ‘Seven Nation Army’ one game.”
The addition of live music during the games brings much more energy than any speaker could. Live instrumentation is sonically powerful and can intensify the environment of any sporting event.
“The band really brings energy because live music brings a different kind of energy into the air,” said D’Addato. “When we play songs, the excitement of watching our team succeeding and the band supporting the team just creates such a thrilling atmosphere.”
Senior political science major Antonio Lombardi, the president of the pep band, explains that while the band is a large presence at sporting events, they do much more than just provide live music for sports.
“Many of our students are not music majors, but are very talented in their musical abilities. By joining the band they can use it as an outlet to express their music playing abilities and meet like-minded individuals. Many of our own members have claimed that the Pep Band is their number one reason they enjoy being here at Rider,” said Lombardi.
D’Addato also explained the personal connections and relationships that the band members share.
“Everyone there loves music and therefore we play music. Band, to me, really means family, because we all support each other,” she said. “When one of us has an event or something going on, we all find a way to bring the support. Band is more than just showing up for practice and leaving. We all care for each other and look after one another just like a sports team would.”
Playing and practicing together results in the band being closely knit and strongly supportive of each other. Lombardi explained how this group unity has impacted him both personally and musically.
“When I am older and looking back at my time here at Rider, the pep band will definitely be one of the highlights of my college career,” he said. “As a founding member of the band, going through the journey to get where the band is currently, took a tremendous amount of hard work and effort — pushing myself to the limits and shaping me into the person I am today. Seeing the success and the presence the band has here at Rider has taken my breath away and makes all that hard work worth it.”
For those looking to be a part of the pep family of talented musicians, all students are free to join the pep band. Practices are commonly held Monday and Wednesday nights in the Alumni Gym.
Published in the 3/4/2020 issue of The Rider News.