As the football season came to a close, the University of Rhode Island Marching Band had their last performance in front of friends and family at the Fine Arts Center on Nov. 11. An audience that almost completely filled the concert hall waited patiently for the Ram Band to make their way to their seats.
The drum line started out the performance with a lively beat, getting the audience and the players pumped up for an evening of music and fun. In two lines the players walked into the concert hall in a choreographed dance, waving their instruments from side to side. While the players wore their customary keaney blue suits, their expected shakos, or plumed-feathered-hat, was missing from their ensemble.
The evening marked the final performance with the marching band for assistant director Frances Brown and her husband, announcer Leland Brown. Both are URI alumni who used to play in the marching band.
Frances Brown said she is sad to be leaving but happy to be moving on to a new chapter of her life. “It was a great year,” she said.
Leland Brown has mixed emotions about leaving URI and the marching band. “We’ve been with the group for so many years,” he said. Both are proud to have been a part of such an amazing group that is always willing to work hard.
Throughout the night, the band played a myriad of different tunes from “Appalachian Spring,” based on a poem, to veteran’s day tunes. Along with the players joined the color guard, a group of students who interpreted the music through dance and flag waving. Each song was accompanied by a different set of dancers, different flags and a different choreographed dance. At one point there was even a spectacular baton twirler to shake things up!
Intermittently the drum line bumped a beat to give the wind and brass instruments a break, making the entire audience nod and shake their heads to the beat. While the music was clearly the main point to the night, the players had a lot of fun with their choreographed dancing during some of the songs. And to the mortification of some of the audience members, there was even some dabbing involved in the dancing.
At the end of the performance, alumni were asked to come to the stage as they performed their final fight song of the season. With emotions and spirits high, the drum line broke out into music and the entire performance ended with a big dancing fest with guests from the audience joining in to celebrate an amazing season.
Scott Travers, senior music education major and one of the drum majors in the marching band is sad to be leaving such a great group, but he knows he’ll be back to visit.
“I’ve met some of my best friends here,” said Travers. “Tonight went amazingly well.”
The URI marching band will be playing at welcome days and special occasions next spring so be sure to check them out there!