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Pep band changes song selection

Challenge of new songs

Pep+band+performs+during+a+home+football+game+against+Robbinsdale+Armstrong+Sep.+9.
Pep band performs during a home football game against Robbinsdale Armstrong Sep. 9.

Pep band performs during a home football game against Robbinsdale Armstrong Sep. 9.

Mira Swartz

Mira Swartz

Pep band performs during a home football game against Robbinsdale Armstrong Sep. 9.

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When senior baritone player Megan Aune first looked through the new songbook for pep band, she was excited by the new additions.

“We have three new songs: ‘Africa’, ‘Take On Me’ and a medley of three popular songs: ‘Going Down for Real’, ‘Don’t Stop the Party’ and “Mortal Combat’, which has always been a band favorite that came back,” Aune Said.

Band director Steven Schmitz said band students help decide on the selection of the songs they play.

“I asked the students last year which three songs they were the most sick of, or wanted to ditch, and which three they really loved the most. Using that information, and asking them to brainstorm what songs they want me to look for, I look for (new) songs,” Schmitz said. “They seem excited because they voted on them, so I always hear them trying to play them during warmups.”

Schmitz says he tries to change the songs frequently in order to keep students and listeners engaged.

“I try to always switch at least three of the songs from year-to-year, and then every three or four years I switch out half of them, 10 out of the 20 to keep things fresh. This year was a switch-three year,” Schmitz said.

Aune said the new songs are at a higher difficulty level than the old ones.

“(The songs) are at the top band’s difficulty level, but knowing how our bands have performed in the last year, I’m sure we can complete them, and that we will sound amazing at every pep band that we do,” Aune said.

Schmitz said he feels that the higher level of the new songs will provide the students with a way to challenge themselves while playing songs that are fun.

“I think it will be beneficial because we are having fun doing it, and they are picking the songs,” Schmitz said. “But we are stretching the level of the pep band music just a little bit,”

Aune said she feels the challenge will provide the freshman with a sense of accomplishment.

“When they sound amazing at it, and they can be like ‘Wow, as a freshman, I completed a top band level song.’ I think it will be a difficult few days when they are learning it, but I think it will be a big payoff in the end,” Aune said.

The pep band plays next at the Homecoming game Oct. 7. 

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Pep band changes song selection