By Amethyst Martinez
It was the day of the 2020 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference basketball tournament, long before the coronavirus pandemic took a hold of the world.
The pep bands from each university were set to participate in a spirit event called “Band Jam” alongside their school dance and cheer teams. The groups closed off their performances with their fight songs.
The newly revived Rider Pep Band looked around and realized: Rider University had no fight song to play for their sports teams.
Vice president of the pep band and junior elementary education major Angela Rizzo, and Rider alums Antonio Lombardi and Kaden Mobley, took it upon themselves to create the new unofficial fight song for Rider.
Rizzo said, “We decided it would be such a great opportunity for the band, for years to come, to have something that is uniquely ours and written by members.”
The pep band consists of 23-25 members, playing flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, percussion, guitar, keyboard, and more. The group was recently revamped by students before the pandemic.
Rider Pep Band performs on campus at a variety of events, such as Admitted Students Day, basketball games and more. The band has also held fundraisers in the past, last year raising money for Trenton Music Makers, a music education school near campus.
The group began to write the song, but the project was halted when COVID-19 shut down universities. However, during quarantine, the three bandmates got to work again and met together through online video chat services such as Discord and Zoom to write the new song.
Lombardi said, “Our minds kind of got together, and over the course of a few weeks, we were able to write it up.”
The end result is completely Rider oriented, down to a drum part incorporated that mimics horse galloping in a nod to the Bronc mascot. All of the parts were written by Rider students, including alumni who previously participated in the pep band.
Rizzo said, “We kind of ran with the Bronc theme and had certain elements [incorporated] that were surrounding the school.”
Lombardi described the importance of using multiple eras of students’ input who were able to work alongside one another and create the fight song.
“Now, we can all come together and create something that can be timeless,” said Lombardi.
The pep band currently awaits administration approval to make it the official fight song for Rider University.
The Rider Pep Band proudly has something to add to their legacy on campus, which can last for many new generations of students.
Rizzo said, “You can have this opportunity to lead and write something within a student run group. I think that’s like, a really unique opportunity that you don’t get [in] a lot of places.”