Centennial Band is ‘fired up’


Photo creds: Kayla Curtis / The Advance-Titan– Drum major Chandler Sumner-Gehrig leads at the marching bands inaugural performance.

Kelly Hueckman, Opinion Editor

With UW Oshkosh’s 2022 Homecoming rapidly approaching, Titan Thunder Marching Band will celebrate 100 years of UWO bands with its Centennial Band. 

Titan Thunder has invited students, current and past staff and alumni to join the band during halftime of the 2022 Homecoming football game vs UW-Stout on Oct. 22. The invitation has also been extended to high school marching band students.

The Centennial Band will perform UWO’s alma mater and new fight song, “Go Mighty Titans” under the conduction of Director of Athletic Bands Joseph Scheivert. 

The Centennial Band is a way to gather folks together who have common interests in music and the university, even if they don’t share the athletic band experience,” Scheivert said.

After 42 years without a marching band, Scheivert said that the resurgence of UWO athletic bands has sparked conversation of the inclusion of alumni who didn’t have the same musical opportunities. 

“Throughout the development of the marching and pep band program, many alumni have reached out to me, wishing that they had this opportunity during their time at UWO,” Scheivert said. “We’re continuing to try to reach all these Titans about this event.”

UWO fourth-year and clarinet section leader of Titan Thunder Hannah May said the Centennial performance is a great way to capture the school spirit that comes with Homecoming.

I think a true Homecoming this year would include playing alongside some of the members from UWO’s original marching band,” May said. “Homecoming is all about school spirit and support, and I think the Titan Thunder along with those who join us will perfectly embody that.”

Musicians interested in signing up can choose between original or simplified sheet music arrangements depending on their playing comfort level in order to include all musicians.

“Musical inclusion was a big part of the planning process,” Scheivert said. “By taking out some of the trickier passages, I’m hopeful that [musicians] will take this opportunity to get their horns out… or use ours!”

Including the entire UWO community will create stronger bonds between musicians and the music program, Scheivert said.

“Many collegiate marching bands include their alumni in Homecoming performances annually, which helps create and maintain ties to the program for generations,” he said.

May said she hopes the Centennial Band halftime show will inspire future generations to participate in Titan Thunder.

I hope the band’s energy rubs off on those who decide to perform with us for the day, and it then rubs off on their families and friends as well,” May said. “I think this will really show the community that the band is here to stay and wants everyone to join.”

By inviting high school students to participate, Titan Thunder can encourage upcoming UWO students to join the marching band, according to May.

“Hopefully getting the chance to play with our group will encourage them to apply to UWO to march with us in the fall and to tell their friends [about it],” she said.

May said she hopes musicians of all backgrounds and levels will participate in supporting the school during Homecoming. 

“The band right now brings a lot of spirit and energy to the games; we hype up one another and the team,” she said. “I’d love to see more of that energy spread within the crowd, especially for our homecoming game.” 

So far, 20 musicians have signed up to perform in the Centennial Band. Musicians interested in signing up can visit uwosh.edu/marchingband/event/homecoming-performance to witness school spirit first-hand. Sign-up is available through Oct. 16.

“One of the sayings we can’t help but scream from the sidelines is ‘Fire it up’ to get everyone excited,” May said. “I don’t think anyone’s going to bat an eye if the crowd shows up a little more fired up than usual.”