UT alumni band excited to return to play
UT’s Pride of the Southland Alumni Marching Band returns to play at several games due to students being off during winter break.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The University of Tennessee Pride of the Southland Alumni Marching Band returns to play at several games due to students being off during winter break.
With more than 4,000 alumni band members, it’s one of the largest and most active alumni associations at the university. Some of the members graduated from the university in 1967.
Jimbo Crawford, a drummer in the UT Alumni Band, was excited to participate in one of the first band performances of the new year during the UT versus Vanderbilt basketball game on Tuesday.
“You have to be on your toes and ready to go. You got to know where everything is and good for us is that a lot of those hand signals they don’t change over the years,” Crawford said.
During the day, Crawford works as the director of bands at Karns High School, but several times each year, he plays drums for the UT Alumni Band.
“I’ve got former students here that are in the band with me, both alumni and current students. So, I get to come out and jam with them too. It’s a blast,” Crawford said.
If you see the band perform live, you will notice the conductor performing hand gestures and holding up numbered signs. According to Ashley Sadler, conductor of the UT Alumni Band, it all helps communicate to the band members what song to play next.
“You’ll see sometimes we’ll be in the middle of one tune and I, whoever the conductor is, is showing the drum set player the hand signal for what’s coming up right after that,” Sadler said.
The band will make an appearance at the Tennessee-Kentucky game, which is set for Saturday at noon. You can learn more about the UT Pride of the Southland Alumni Marching Band by visiting its official website.
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