It wasn’t just the thunder of the Chargers coming from the stands during the Hillsdale College football team’s big win — there were Hornets buzzing as well.
The Hillsdale High School Hornets marching band joined Hillsdale College Pep Band at Frank “Muddy” Waters Stadium during the Chargers game against the Michigan Tech Huskies last Saturday to perform some favorite tunes.
“In high school marching band, I remember that the middle schoolers came and played with us, and it was cool to do that on in college as well,” Hillsdale College senior saxophonist Brant Cohen said.
Neither band marched at halftime, but both played back and forth during timeouts, between quarters, and between plays.
Though sophomore pep band director Matthew Clark had never been in contact before the game with Keith Rushing, director of the Hillsdale High School marching band, the college group rehearsed the high school’s arrangement of the “Star Spangled Banner” the night before the game. When the crowd turned toward the flag and placed their hands over their hearts, Rushing conducted both bands together.
Although the bands performed similar repertoire, they were not able to play many songs together during the game because their arrangements were in different keys, Cohen said.
“We were only able to play on one song together, “Final Countdown,” my favorite,” senior drummer Dean Sinclair said. “They’re younger and less experienced, but they got the job done.”
It wasn’t just a learning experience for the younger performers, though: Clark took something away from the day as well.
“The high school band does these little cadences and things for first downs,” Clark said. “I think I may want to bring that in with our band.”
Cohen was impressed with the enthusiasm that the high school band, which, with about 30 members, is slightly bigger than the college band, brought to the game.
“They had a lot of energy and were really involved in the game,” he said. “I would say they were almost as invested as the student section.”