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Monday, April 15, 2024

When the Aggies go marching-uh

As the California Aggie Marching Band-uh! takes the field to perform this weekend, you could be seeing them in a much bigger venue.

On Nov. 3, as the Oakland Raiders play host to the Philadelphia Eagles, Band-uh! has been given the distinct privilege to perform pre-game and at halftime at the Oakland Coliseum.

“It is a great opportunity for us,” said student manager Audrey Vorametsanti. “We are going to have thousands of people which is a lot more than our usual crowd, and we are also performing in a much bigger stadium.”

Band-uh! will not only be putting on a performance for the thousands of decorated Raider fanatics, but also for the many Bay Area police and firefighters in attendance.

The Oakland Raiders have teamed up with the organization Police and Fire: The Fallen Heroes for another year, in order to pay tribute to first responders from around the Bay Area.

In the Fourth Annual Oakland Raiders Police and Fire Appreciation game, members from multiple Northern California fire and police departments will be recognized in a special on-field ceremony.

“We have incorporated the Fallen Heroes organization into our show,” Vorametsanti said. “We will be playing ‘America the Beautiful’ while they do their salute to the police and fire personnel, in addition to a couple other songs during pre-game.”

Although Band-Uh! has had to rehearse for numerous events including the upcoming UC Davis vs. Cal Poly football game on Nov. 2, Band-uh! has taken the Raiders’ pregame and halftime show with the utmost importance.

“We have been practicing about 10 hours per week,” Vorametsanti said. “We had to memorize all of our drills and all of our music.”

While many of the band members are anxious for the upcoming game, band director Olin Hannum said this event is much more than just gaining public recognition.

“This event is more about the students being able to play in a stadium [Oakland Coliseum] that size and be in front of that many people,” Hannum said. “It is a bigger stage to perform on.”

As for the song list Band-uh! will perform on the big day, Director Hannum did not reveal much.

“The show is going to be Raiders-oriented,” Hannum said.

With Band-uh! preparing for a busy weekend, there will be several adjustments that will have to be accounted for as they prepare to play in the Coliseum.

“NFL hash marks are a bit different than college, so when charting the show, we had to account for that,” Hannum said. “But mostly, the difference is stadium size. Since the fans and cameras are way more elevated compared to Aggie Stadium, we [Band-uh!] can make a lot more [formations] on the field.”

Even with the field changes, Director Hannum views this as a big moment for the marching band itself.

“I think a lot of people in the Bay Area don’t know that we are the largest marching band in the UC system,” Hannum said. “Hopefully this will turn an eye in that the UC Davis marching band is pretty darn good.”

SHAUN MONCADA can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.

1 COMMENT

  1. […] Aggie Marching Band to play at Sunday’s game against Eagles (The California Aggie, by Shaun Moncada)… As the California Aggie Marching Band-uh! takes the field to perform this weekend, you could be seeing them in a much bigger venue.  On Nov. 3, as the Oakland Raiders play host to the Philadelphia Eagles, Band-uh! has been given the distinct privilege to perform pre-game and at halftime at the Oakland Coliseum.  Band-uh! will not only be putting on a performance for the thousands of decorated Raider fanatics, but also for the many Bay Area police and firefighters in attendance.  The Oakland Raiders have teamed up with the organization Police and Fire: The Fallen Heroes for another year, in order to pay tribute to first responders from around the Bay Area.  In the Fourth Annual Oakland Raiders Police and Fire Appreciation game, members from multiple Northern California fire and police departments will be recognized in a special on-field ceremony.  (read more) […]

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