MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – They’re loud…

“I think marching band bring a certain atmosphere to our events that otherwise wouldn’t be there,” said Thomas Claycomb, junior trumpeter, NMU Marching Band. “It’s really hard to put your finger on just the feeling of hearing all of the drums playing together and all of the brass going hard.”

They’re proud…

“The sense of community that we have,” said fifth year senior, Micah Erickson, trombone, NMU Marching Band. “The term family is used a lot in our band. I know it’s cliché and every band says that they have a family, but I would consider it a community.”

It’s the Northern Michigan University Marching Band!

“I would say the life blood of our spirit community here on campus,” said Alex Rankin, junior, music librarian, NMU Marching Band. “We’re at every home game. We pep up the school, the student section at the football games and the hockey games and no matter what, we’re always proud, loud and Wildcats.”

With over 120 Wildcats in the band to pump up the fans and athletes, many of them come from U.P. high schools.

“Felt like coming home,” said Rankin from Iron Mountain. “I was really close with my band director in high school and with the Iron Mountain Band. Music has always been that wonderful, wonderful place in my heart within my family and in school, so coming to the Northern Band was second nature and I’m glad I did.”

“My high school did not put a whole lot of emphasis on marching,” said Claycomb from Gladstone. “We played the songs but we just stood in the block formation. Here, it’s you gotta do all of the moves and do all the drills. It was a big, big adjustment, but I feel like with the older people helping everyone out and everyone helping each other, it really makes it an easy environment.”

“The main difference is the difficulty of the music and the amount of time put forward for marching band in my opinion,” said Erickson from Calumet. “For college marching band, it involves quite a bit more time, but you do more with the band outside of the class, like social activities and hanging out with everyone in the band. Whereas, high school marching band is, sometimes it feels like I have to be here because it’s a class or I have to be here because my parents are making me do it but with college marching band, we all want to be there.”

You can tell these students want to be part of this, because it shows on the field. If you’re a high schooler on the fence about taking that next step, these Wildcats encourage it.

“I think marching band really helps teach you how to get into the college living and it teaches you a lot about time management and how to socialize with other people and you can move up in ranks in our band,” said Erickson. “I have the privilege of being the trombone section leader and the president of the band and that has taught me an insane amount about how to be a teacher because that’s the field that I’m going into. So I would just say overall, it’s really beneficial to get into because it will teach you to do all kinds of things on how to be adult.”

“I would recommend trying out a college marching band if you’re on the fence about it,” said Claycomb. “If worse comes to worse, you just don’t like it, you don’t have to do it again. But if you do like it, you’ll have lifelong friends forever.”

For more information about the NMU Marching Band, click here.