The Voice of the Griffin
What's a scramble band?A scramble band is similar to a high school marching band, only instead of spending hours learning how to get from dot to dot and taking the right step size, we run from dot to dot like wildmen, also known as scrambling. This allows us to quickly learn a new show each time we are on the field. The other main distinguishing feature between scramble bands and marching bands is that scramble bands perform with the help of a script. The script is full of jokes, satire, and parody. Topics up for discussion are anything and everything, from campus culture to world events. While the script is read, the band scrambles, and then ends up in a form that will correlate with the topic or joke. Then the band plays a song that relates to that. The end result is a halftime show that is less organized, more fun for the members, less time consuming (so you can do all your other clubs, you overachieving W&M student), and more entertaining.
Where you can find usThe William and Mary Pep Band can be found at all home football games in the fall and basketball games in the winter, but we also travel to close-to-home away football games and basketball championships. We have also been known to make an appearance in support of the men's soccer team or the baseball team, at Convocation, at the Homecoming Pep Rally, and at the Homecoming Parade. We have also played a few weddings! And you never know, we could always show up at some other sporting event or anywhere around campus, so keep your eyes peeled.
MembershipMembership in the Pep Band is open to anyone, no audition required! As long as you can make your instrument play, we will welcome you with open arms. Everyone from all-state musicians to those that haven't played since middle school are welcome.
Membership is entirely voluntary, and you are not required to attend every single event (though it is encouraged!). There will be required rehearsals leading up to shows when we will be performing at halftime. We do request that you let us know when you will be absent, so we can plan accordingly.
Hey, I think I like these crazy people...Made it this far, and still interested in joining the best musical ensemble on campus? Send Cody Jones an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more info, find us at an Activities Fair, or at one of many sporting events!
A History of the Band
The College of William and Mary Marching Band (?-1995)
The early history of the William and Mary Marching Band is unclear. Throughout the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, there were various efforts to organize a marching band, each of which lasted for a few years at the most, and then collapsed. It wasn't until the early 1950s, with the coming of Dr. Charles Varner, that a marching band at William and Mary came to be.
Dr. Varner came to the College in 1952, as the new director of bands, and started a reorganization of the marching band. Now that it had a stable leader, the band began to flourish. In the '50s, '60s, and '70s, the Summer Band program provided an opportunity for high school students around the state to improve their marching and playing. This Summer Band program was run by members of the William and Mary Marching Band.
However, when Chuck Varner retired from the College in the early 1980’s, the band began to hit troubled times. By the mid 90s, under the lead of Laura Rexroth, the band was down to 30 members. This was deemed insufficient to run an official marching band, and so it was disbanded.
The William and Mary Pep Band Years (1996-present)
After the fall of 1995, in which the Marching Band had only 30 members, it disbanded, due to lack of interest in both the music faculty and the students. In the fall of 1996, the history of the William and Mary Pep Band began. It began as a similar institution to the Marching Band, in that it was a one credit class run by a Professor of Music. However, in the fall of 1998, the Athletics department took over the management of the Pep Band.
Unfortunately, the reign that the Athletics Department had over the Pep Band was tumultuous at best. The Athletic Department hired their own director, and practices were held in William and Mary Hall. There was a misunderstanding in the Athletic Department with the reasons people joined the Pep Band. The situation became so dire that, during the basketball season, only 8 Pep Band members would show up for games.
However, there was planning afoot. Under the leadership of Jason Maga, the Pep Band sat down with Athletics, the Student Government, and the Administration to work out a new direction for the Pep Band. With the full support of Athletics, the Administration, and the Student Government, the Pep Band started a flyering and mailing drive across Campus and to all incoming freshmen. In the fall of 1999, the Pep Band was reformed as totally student-run organization, under the Directorship of Jason Maga. From there, we have soared into the bright sky of freedom, justice, and the peptastic way.
The Pep Band had bigger things in store for itself. No longer content with playing in the stands alone, but not desiring the complications and stereotypes of a normal marching band, the William and Mary Pep Band sought to become a scramble band. So in the spring of 2006, a core group of individuals started planning this new chapter of history. It came to fruition in the fall of 2006, November 18th to be precise, with the first field show by a William and Mary band in 11 years. Emboldened by their success, they vowed to continue their scrambling, which leaves only one question: Are you willing to join the Pep Band on their rocket ride to scrambling glory?
To this day, the Pep Band continues to scramble both on the field and on the court.
Thanks to Jason Maga '00 and Doug Bunch '02 for information.
Pep Band Officers
Cody Jones, '17 - English Major
The highest office in the band. It is their responsibility to make sure everything runs smoothly. The Director runs rehearsals, conducts the band and works with Athletics to coordinate performances.
The Liaison Officer
Matt McGuinness, '17 - Neuroscience Major
Works closely with the Director and Athletics to make sure things run well. The Liaison Officer is also the prime link between the band and outside groups, such as the music department and alumni band.
The Publicity Chair
Victoria Gerardi, '17 - Math Major
Manages the pep website and the general public image of the pep band.
Matt Wong, '17 - Neuroscience and Math Majors
Takes attendance at all pep band events. Other responsbilities include maintaining the Constitution and keeping minutes at any meetings that the Executive Board might decide to have.
Sarah Pittman, '18 - Undecided Major
Responsible for working closely with the Director on budget matters relating to the band.
The Show Manager
Nate Jenkins, '17 - Economics Major
In charge of the field shows that the pep band performs. They are responsible for coordinating music selections, rosters for the show, drill, and the text of the script. Also known as the "Dance Captain"