Pep Banned Blog

Information, Notes, and Fun

A Good Time Was Had By All!

A Good Time Was Had By All!

On November 11, 2023, nearly 140 former Pep Band members descended upon Lambeth Field, on the Grounds of the University of Virginia, to relive a bit of their historic past. After checking in to obtain their souvenir “Pep Banned” t-shirts and knock-off orange vests (although many had brought their original vests), the band headed to the stands to rehearse the music for their show. There was an electricity in the air as friends reconnected and everyone experienced a deja vu moment harkening back to Saturday morning rehearsals at Scott Stadium.

When the music rehearsal began, the first note that arose from the instruments surprised everyone. It was good! Even though there were old horns, inexperienced embouchures, and tired bodies, the sound was impressive. Conductors Dave Wengrovitz and Rick Stegman guided the band through fourteen pieces of music as everyone got their lips back in shape. And thanks to Evan Macbeth, there were plenty of percussion and tubas to go around.

The group took a break for lunch which was provided by chef and former Pep Bander Ed Hardy. They then took the field in an attempt to recreate their unique halftime shows of the past. Beth Freeborn and Dan McKeon served as announcers. They told some of the Pep Band’s tried and true jokes while the band scrambled into familiar formations. Honestly, the “scrambling” looked a bit more like an “ambling” but it was impressive nonetheless. In fact, about twenty of the current marching band members were watching from the stands and they loved the music, the jokes, and the enthusiasm. It was a wonderful connection between the two different band eras.

Throughout the day, the Pep Band members seemed to be in their element and there was a great deal of gratitude for the chance to take the field one more time. The day was captured on film and a number of interviews were conducted over the weekend. The documentary production crew hopes to capture a few additional interviews and to start putting the film together in 2024. The money raised for the project thus far will cover the reunion weekend but another $150,000 is needed to complete the project.

When all was said (or played) and done, the weekend was a success. A good time was definitely had by all.


Add comment