Long Live The Pep
Now, what's a scramble band?Now, we are The William and Mary Pep Band, and also a scramble band. But, you might ask, what is a scramble band? That kind of sounds like something I would do to my eggs, not something I would want on my football field at halftime. Well, a scramble band is a kind of like a boring high school marching band, only with a better sense of humor. Instead of spending hours learning how to get from dot to dot and take 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 what you could do as a freshman in high school 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 usually identify with the topic or joke. Then the band plays a song that goes with the joke (usually). 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.
*disclaimer: many of us enjoyed our time in marching band, and did not actually hate it.
Where you can find usThe William and Mary Pep Band can be found mainly at 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, or in the Homecoming Parade. 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 Megan Flansburg 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 lost in time and space. 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 immediately started a reorganization of the way that the marching band was conceived. 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 schoolers around the state an opportunity to get better at their instruments and better at marching. The fact that it was staffed by members of the William and Mary Marching band shows their dedication.
However, when Chuck Varner left the College, the band began to hit troubled times. Diagnosed with cancer in the early 1980s, Varner was forced to retire just before the beginning of the year. The directors after Varner did not have the same dedication to the marching band that he did; by the mid 90s, under the lead of Laura Rexroth, the band was down to 30 members. This was deemed insufficient to run a real 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, there were differing opinions between the Professor and the Band members on how it should be run, and in the fall of 1998, the Athletics department took over the management of the Pep Band.
As was to be expected, however, 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 also a misunderstanding amidst the Athletic Department of 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.
However, 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 join a sacred brotherhood: The Brotherhood of the Scramble Band. So in the spring of 2006 (really, the winter, but that's what the semester is called), 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?
Thanks to Jason Maga '00 and Doug Bunch '02 for information.
Pep Band Officers
Megan Flansburg, '15 - Geology and Environmental Science Majors
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
Kelsey Watson, '15 - Geology Major
Works closely with the Director and Athletics to make sure things run smoothly. 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
Zach Hasan, '16 - Chemistry Major
Manages the pep website and the general public image of the pep band.
Kate Brown, '16 - Biology Major
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.
Caitlin Mullenax, '17 - Geology and Environmental Science Majors
Responsible for working closely with the Director on budget matters relating to the band.
The Show Manager
John Boyle, '16 - Music and Biology Majors
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.
The Percussion Manager
Michael Monaco, '15 - Linguistics Major
In charge of battery instrumentation, tuning, upkeep, and selection of cadences.