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NSU marching band goes 'Gaga' during 2011 band camp

Image of the NSU Marching Band practicing.
Image of the NSU Marching Band practicing.Members of the NSU Marching Band take to the turf for band camp 2011 held in early August.

(Tahlequah, Okla.)—Members of the Northeastern State University Marching Band took to the turf in early August for practice sessions and field rehearsals during band camp 2011. Led by Dr. Norman Wika, assistant professor of music, the RiverHawk Marching Band will perform during the pre-games and halftimes of home football games. NSU opens its season August 27 at 6 p.m. against Bacone at Doc Wadley Stadium.

“The first few marching sessions consist of marching fundamentals where we work on everyone moving and carrying their instruments uniformly,” Wika said. “Then we start learning our marching shows. The first is our pre-game show which consists of Oklahoma, the Star Spangled Banner, the NSU Alma Mater and the fight song. Then we work on the halftime shows.”

In a bit of a twist, the band will perform music showcasing pop diva Lady Gaga and trumpet great Bill Chase during two halftime shows.

“We will perform the Lady Gaga set for the first football game and it will consist of Bad Romance, Born This Way and Poker Face,” Wika said. “The band Chase was a 1970s jazz-rock ensemble and Bill Chase was a famous trumpet player whose life was cut short in a plane crash in the late ‘70s. We’ll feature his music at the second game.”

Band members arrived on campus August 6. Rehearsals began August 7 and continued through the 10th. The camp concluded with a cookout and pool party at the Seminary Suites Clubhouse on Wednesday evening. The gathering was organized by Kappa Kappa Psi, the honorary band service fraternity.

“Socializing is an important element of band camp,” Wika said. “Besides learning music and marching drill, it is also a time for all band members to get to know each other and for the new people to learn their way around.”

Wika said the band numbers 90 and that rehearsals have been “excellent.”

“We’ve made fast progress,” he said. “We had our pre-game performance down after only two days. This year’s band is going to be spectacular. They are playing at a very high level and both halftime shows will be high-energy and crowd-pleasing.”

For more information visit the NSU music department.

Published: 8/18/2011 12:08:01 PM

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