Photo courtesy of WCUPA webpage

The WCU Incomparable  Golden Rams Marching Band took to the Lincoln Financial Field to perform during halftime at the Eagles vs. Seahawks game on January 5. Though
the Eagles may have experienced a devastating loss, the marching band seized the opportunity of a lifetime.

This exciting performance comes  after receiving the 2019 Sudler Trophy, an award that recognizes a history of excellence in collegiate marching band. WCU became the first Division 2  college take home the prestigious award.

The 2019 season was spent  performing locally in an effort to give back to the community.  Just when the Philadelphia  Thanksgiving Day Parade seemed like the peak of the season, The Eagles  invited the Ram Band back for more.

 

“The Ram Band is in part so successful because of the intense camaraderie formed within sections, drill formations, and between newbies and older students.”

 

Though a typical Ram Band season ends in December, over 300 members were rallied to perform at the January playoff game. When not all of the current members were able to attend on such short notice, over 100 alumni stepped up to fill in. Assembling such a large and diverse group is no ordinary task, but WCU made it look easy.

“I think that the Ram Band was able to pull this off on such short notice because of the amazing work ethic put forward not only by current members, but the alumni of the organization as well ,” said Ram Band coordinator Joe Bucci. “From the moment rehearsal started on the day of the game, just from the few notes we played as a band I knew it would be no sweat for the band to pull off a great performance”

The alumni organization played a crucial role in pulling off the event. Opportunities like this do not arise for marching bands without a history of excellence, which these alumni undoubtedly created during their years as a Golden Ram. More technically, the network helps to lobby, fundraise, donate and cheer on the Ram Band 365 days a year. Performing on Lincoln Field did not seem like a job for returning alumni, but instead a well-deserved treat.

“Having a strong alumni network literally showed its importance with this event,” said Bucci.  “This band is built on the traditions set by our alumni, so every time we go out for a show we try and show them that they are still part of this band.”

 

““This band is built on the traditions set by our alumni, so every time we go out for a show we try and show them that they are still part of this band,” said Bucci.”

 

West Chester University experienced its largest incoming freshman class for the Fall 2019 semester, making it no surprise that the Ram Band also experienced a large swell in numbers. For the many freshmen, like Mattie Wentz, the experience was like no other.

“Walking onto the Lincoln Financial Field was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.  I’ve performed on countless football fields, but never with almost 70,000 people in attendance. I was too in awe to even be nervous,” said Wentz.

The Ram Band is in part so successful because of the intense camaraderie formed within sections, drill formations and between newbies and older students. This means that an off season performance like this is more than just a performance; it’s a reunion.

“I feel so much more connected to the [Ram Band] after the performance. I bonded with some of my teammates more on that day than I had all season,” said Wentz. “I’m incredibly grateful to have received this opportunity with my closest friends, my team and my family.”

Even though the Eagles did not fly high, the West Chester University Incomparable Golden Rams Marching Band surley soared. Moments like these are what the catchphrase “incomparable” is built off of. In good WCU faith, this performance was one of many top tier moments that the university has yet to experience.

Caroline Helms is a first year English major. CH923621@wcupa.edu

Caroline Helms is a second-year student majoring in English writing and minoring in journalism. CH923621@wcupa.edu.

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