Hello! (waves in an arch). I am a proud member of the Longhorn Pep Band. It’s both a great joy and a bit of a struggle to be a part of a high energy pep band for basketball and volleyball. The opportunity came to me a few semesters ago. I’m grateful for all the fun things that have occurred due to joining a fantastic part of the sports games at the University of Texas at Austin. After I tried and failed to get into Longhorn Band my first senior year, I decided to join the pep band to improve my playing ability and play my clarinet at volleyball and basketball games. What I got was both a struggle and a joy. It’s a sense of truly being a Longhorn at UT Austin.
The struggle of being a part of pep band is being in an uncomfortable place with my playing. I’m not the best clarinet player; I don’t practice enough. I wish I did. I don’t expect to be perfect, but rather I try and I learn. I do believe I am better than I was in high school, even though I played bass clarinet then and the relative difficulty changes with instrument and arrangement.
The second part is being in uncomfortable place with myself. Sports games can be very loud and too much for me. Pep Band has to be the loudest cheering part of the crowd. We have instruments and megaphones to cheer the team on. The problem is if the game gets boring, I’m most likely to yawn. I have to put away my tiredness and cheer on the team. I don’t like how much we might mock the other team, but I understand it’s just a game and as long as it is played well, it is worth while. If you tried your best, it is worth while. Let God take care of the rest.
The joys are found inside the struggles, not necessarily overcoming them simply, but rather present with them. One of the joys is how much mutual support between the band and the sports program. The basketball and volleyball teams support us as much as we do them because we represent a large part of the student fan base. We matter to one another and it shows. Another joy is the friends I made. The clarinet section is quite fun. All the friends I made are uniquely human and worth spending time with. Pep Band helped me make friends beyond my major and the Catholic Center. Another reason why I enjoy Longhorn Pep Band is the unity and support in the band in order to make a great sound and cheer the team on well.
The best part of being part of Longhorn Pep Band: it’s fun. I wouldn’t be a part of it otherwise. It is a struggle to be so busy with Pep Band games, but if I have fun, it’s worth all the time and effort put into it. As I post this, I just finished my last basketball game with the Pep Band. They usually travel with the basketball teams, but I won’t be travelling, sadly, but I wish whoever go in the band the best in their travels.
The Nerd of May