Negaunee, Mich. (WJMN) – When Negaunee takes the court, the Miner faithful always show up to show their support.
The fans do there part – making it difficult on visiting opponents. But, what really puts the game night experience over the top – is the boost provided by the Negaunee Pep Band.
“What we do is we try to get all the band kids together for local games. Usually, Gwinn, Ishpeming, Marquette. We just play music during halftime and the pre-game, and then usually during timeouts. Just to try to add some extra energy to the game. Um, then also give to band students a chance to be involved in the athletic events,” said NHS Band Director, Jacob Schmeltzer.
The band consists of about 55 musicians who, like the student-athletes playing on the court, put in time practicing every day for game night.
“We split it up it up every once in a while we throw in some rocks tunes or some popular tunes,” said Schmeltzer.
“It’s really cool to show the rock genre as opposed to more of the classic band arrangements. So. it’s cool to show that side of things,” added Madison Downey, a senior flute & piccolo player.
The band members use their skill and passion for music to make a unique home-court advantage for the Negaunee basketball teams.
“With music, you can show so much emotion and really portray it through your instrument and get the people all riled up for the games and excited to see all these players play and it’s just a great experience,” said Arnie Spickerman, a junior drummer, piano & guitar player.
“It’s good to know you can energize people and get them involved in the game. It’s really a group thing. It couldn’t happen without every one of us. If one of us isn’t there it could derail the whole thing. All of us are really important to the operation, ” added Adam Ogea, a senior drummer for the pep band.
“Definitely, the energy. It’s a completely different experience playing in pep band vs. Concert band because it’s a whole different genre you get to put your hands-on,” said Downey.
From the players to the fans, all the way to the band, each victory is truly a team effort.
“Seeing all the fans playing along with the band and jumping, dancing, singing, I love it. The players, they get a rushing going out from the gym doors into the gym playing,” said Spickerman.
“The great thing about music is that it’s easy to motivate people because everybody can relate to it in some way. So, when the band puts energy into what they are performing, I think it immediately electrifies the stadium the fans and the players are excited about what they hear. We just do what we do and we have fun with it and I think it kind of rubs off on everybody,” concluded Schmeltzer.