MARILYN HAGERTY: UND Pride of North Band struts its Potato Bowl stuffThis is the time of year when the UND Pride of the North marching band puts its best feet forward — all 250 of them. The band that several years ago had withered away is back in force under the direction of Robert Brooks.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
This is the time of year when the UND Pride of the North marching band puts its best feet forward — all 250 of them. The band that several years ago had withered away is back in force under the direction of Robert Brooks.
When he came here 14 years ago, the band had faded for lack of support. There was a time when UND students got a Kazoo Band together for the homecoming parade.
Now, the band is back in full force with 125 members and will lead the way in the Potato Bowl parade Saturday. They also were set to play during the French fry feed in University Park and for the fireworks after in Memorial Stadium. The band will be there outside the Alerus Center weaving its way through the tailgaters before Saturday’s football game. And the band will be inside to usher in the UND football team.
Pride of the North caps off the pre-game celebrations outside. Once inside, they march into a UND formation, and you notice a sousaphone player running around to get in place. It’s an honor role, Brooks says, and this year it is held by Alec Davis.
Holly Baker is the featured twirler with Pride of the North and she is joined by Katie Kwak from Florida and McKenzie Haverkamp, a high school student from Fargo. They are seeking more twirlers.
This Saturday, Mandan High School’s band will be a guest of the UND band at halftime.
Brooks, who is assistant director of bands at UND, works with an assistant, Tammy Mulske. He has combed the area seeking out band members. And he said holding Band Day at UND really helps. It brings in more than 500 high school students, and it is set for Nov. 5 this year. There also is a Pride Club that was organized so friends of the band can help support it.
A web page is available so student musicians can learn more about Pride of the North. Most of them play in the band for the love of the music. They get 1 hour credit for participation.
They also get in on a few trips. Next week, they will be going on a 24-hour bus trip to Cedar City, Utah, to play for the Sioux football game with Southern Utah.
On homecoming, the Pride of the North invites former players to join them. Usually, at least 30 join in. It all adds up to the fun and excitement of the band under an ambitious director.
The University of South Dakota band will be here as guests when the South Dakota Coyotes play UND in the final football game of the season Nov. 19.
This year, there are 63 freshmen in the Pride of the North Band. When the marching season is over, many of them sign on for the bands at hockey and basketball games.
Q. What is National Punctuation Day?
A. It’s a holiday coming up Saturday that encourages worldwide literacy and reminds America that a sentence is not a surgical procedure. It has been celebrated in schools and businesses throughout the world with games, programs and contests. It inspires people to pay attention to commas, semicolons and ellipses. Believe it or not, proper punctuation helps in clear communication.
Q. Who thought this up?
A. Jeff Rubin, a former newspaper reporter. He wants on one day to draw attention to proper punctuation.
Bill and Mike
Cheerful people of the week: Bill Palmiscno, Mike Ellsberry.
Reach Hagerty at firstname.lastname@example.org or (701) 772-1055.