Strike Up the Band!

Dec 9th, 2013 | By admin | Category: Lead Story

BY Court­ney Gross ’17

After the suc­cess of both the drum line in 2011 and small pep squad in 2012, Wes­ley expanded its musi­cal pres­ence with an offi­cial march­ing band. This new expan­sion, in addi­tion to the cheer­lead­ers, has proven to rally the crowd and boost the already high spir­its dur­ing the games.

“Stu­dents and fam­i­lies only have pos­i­tive things to say about the new band,” said Wes­ley Band Direc­tor Brian Cass.

After arriv­ing at Wes­ley a week early, the band of about 30 stu­dents is pre­pared to per­form at not only home foot­ball games, but also show­cases and parades.

The march­ing band wel­comes musi­cians from all areas of study, not only music majors. “Wes­ley is excited to pro­vide stu­dents with another out­let to express them­selves and their per­son­al­ity,” Cass explained.

All of this would not have been pos­si­ble with­out a sig­nif­i­cant and gen­er­ous dona­tion from Wes­ley alum­nus Joan (Lefever) Ben­nett ’60. Her sup­port helped the music depart­ment pur­chase new uni­forms and instru­ments for the band and the addi­tional funds have helped pay for ren­o­va­tions in Wes­ley Chapel.

“We are so grate­ful for Joan’s sup­port of the music depart­ment and the Col­lege,” said Wes­ley Col­lege Pres­i­dent William N. Johnston.

Ben­nett grad­u­ated from Wes­ley with her Asso­ciate of Arts degree and fondly recalls being one of six stu­dents who would drive up to New Jer­sey, dressed in their white dresses, and sing at Sun­day brunch. Ben­nett was also one of the first disc jock­eys for Wesley’s cam­pus radio sta­tion, WSLY. She even had her own show, “Sooth­ing Sounds of WSLY,” that aired week­nights. She sang in Wesley’s choir and because of the impact the music depart­ment has had on her life, she is an ardent sup­porter of the arts. She, among oth­ers in the col­lege com­mu­nity, is cer­tainly excited to see the growth of the music department.

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