Marching band to participate in virtual concert Monday with 1,500 other performers


Sophomore Ryan Novak and other band members play sousaphone during practice Nov. 9 on Jack Saunders Marching Band Field.

Eight members of the Chippewa Marching Band will collaborate with nearly 1,500 other performers from across the country for a virtual marching band showcase on Monday, Jan 11. 

The performance will premiere at halftime of the College Football Playoff national championship game on the CBDNA's YouTube channel.

The performance was made possible by the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) Intercollegiate Marching Band (IMB). The full ensemble will feature 200 hundred bands from 45 states and Puerto Rico. 

"In this unusual year when bands have been unable to perform their traditional pregame and halftime shows during college football games, CBDNA is pleased to offer this opportunity with the help of its partners," said Mark Spede, president of CBDNA and director of bands at Clemson University.

The participating Chippewa Marching Band members are:

  • Gabrielle Bass, Lake Isabella, Drum Major 
  • Kaitie Carlson, Laingsburg, Color Guard
  • Kathryn Lemon, Alto, Bass Drum
  • Evan Meekhoff, Grand Rapids, Tuba
  • Maggie Meyer, Marenisco, Color Guard
  • Zach Monica, Midland, Mellophone
  • Shelby Myers, Marne, Piccolo
  • Connor Schuster,  Clarkston, Trumpet 

Because COVID-19 has prevented marching bands from performing as normal, the CBDNA hopes this virtual concert will bring unity and positivity to marching band students.

"These students are prime examples of how our community has come together in support of one another, and of our neighbors across Michigan and the nation," Chippewa Marching Band Director James Batcheller said.

The virtual concert will showcase aspects of a traditional college football halftime show like drum majors, color guard, dancers and majorettes. Spede said it will be a "historical performance."

The IMB will perform "End of Time" by Beyonce. The arrangement for the performance was created by Western Michigan University Band Director Scott Boerma and University of Michigan Percussion Instructor Chuck Ricotta.  

The IMB founder Jeremy Williams said he hopes this project enlarges the sense of community participating students and directors already have by uniting everyone for a virtual performance.

"We are striving for a larger community to bring awareness to the arts, a community that lasts long after this year is over, a community that grows and grows for all marching arts students," Williams said.