May 19, 2024

For the past couple of decades, Wittenberg athletic events have lacked the upbeat and cheerful music that students experienced at their high school games. But that is all about to change.
Senior Morgan Miller has dreamed of this moment since his freshman year; a dream to bring Wittenberg instrumentalists into a pep band – a revitalization of the Tiger Pep Band.
“I was very involved with my high school’s pep band, going to basketball games, playing music and just having fun with it. I miss that feeling a lot,” Miller said.
Over the past couple of months, Miller has been working with fellow classmates, adjunct instructor Brandon Jones and athletic director Gary Williams to bring back the Tiger Pep Band.
“[Currently], I am in the process of being recognized as a student organization,” Miller said. “We have a constitution, and I’m working on a mission statement and goals still, but after that all we need to do is get approved by Student Senate.”
The group has already had two practices, which are held Tuesdays from 8 to 9 p.m. in Kreig 100. The band consists of roughly 30 members who play all different kinds of instruments from drums to tubas to saxophones. Miller, along with freshman Ethan Hughes, are this season’s conductors.
Although Miller will graduate in the spring, he is excited to begin playing for both men’s and women’s home basketball games this winter season. Miller hopes that the band will eventually get the opportunity to play at football games and other campus events.
Miller may still be waiting for approval from Senate, but his excitement for the group continues to grow.
“The pep band is something I have wanted for a long time, and I was so surprised when I first heard them playing the fight song because of how well they did,” Miller said. “The players’ enthusiasm shows in their playing; you can hear it.”
Besides waiting for approval from Senate, Miller also shared some concerns when discussing the high price of music.
“Honestly, the hardest part has been getting music. Music is expensive, generally running around $50 for all the parts we need per song,” Miller said. “So far, thankfully, the music we have has been free, but if we want to be playing newer songs, we’re [going to] need to pay for them.”
Miller hopes that the band will start playing this season at an upcoming basketball game, but no date has been finalized just yet. Miller also hopes to have a preview performance in the Student Center in the upcoming weeks, but nothing is finalized for this either.
All of this could not have been possible without the support of his friends and Wittenberg’s faculty.
“I want to thank the Music Department, and specifically Brandon Jones, for his help and support. I want to thank Athletic Director Gary Williams for his enthusiasm and help with the project. Irene Presper has been a great help in letting me know what I need to get done to get viewed as a student organization. I want to thank the other officers for the organization, Ethan Hughes, Lucy Timko and Chelby Dye for offering their help and alleviating some of the stress from running the organization. To all the members of the pep band, you guys are amazing,” Miller said.
For those with an idea of starting a project like he did with the pep band, Miller shared some words of advice.
“If you think that there is something that Wittenberg is missing or you want to bring to Wittenberg, all you need are a group of friends,” Miller said. “If I have one regret about the pep band so far, it’s that it didn’t get started sooner. I hope that the student body and the basketball teams enjoy the music.”

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