WRITTEN BY JACLYN MCCONNELL, PHOTOGRAPHER
It’s a good thing James Bond is with the Butler University Marching Band this year.
The band is rolling out a Bond-themed halftime show this academic year while battling through a number of troubles in order to have a successful show.
Besides making an appearance in their show, the marching band has called on the famous British spy’s tactics in taking on a new challenge of their own.
Butler’s marching band joins the ranks of groups that have been displaced because of the university parking changes.
Just three years ago, the band practiced in the Hinkle Fieldhouse parking lot, right in front of the Butler Bowl. The group was then moved to the parking lot between the Butler Bubble and Apartment Village off 52nd Street, behind the Butler Bowl.
Now, the band’s practice grounds have been moved to a space across the Central Canal, behind the Butler softball field.
Sean Meaden, the band’s low brass section leader and the band leadership assembly vice president, has the job of carrying students’ voices to the band’s staff. Meaden said he believes the parking committee had a simple oversight.
“Anytime that you have 10 people making decisions for 100 people, someone’s voice isn’t going to get heard,” Meaden said. “In the case of the marching band, we lost our rehearsal lot. (The decision was) not malicious by any means—they (the committee) weren’t told it was rehearsal space.”
Sophomores Paige Rauschuber, Brenna Giazzon and junior Devon Custer, Butler marching band drum majors, said communication has been a chronic issue.
Rauschuber said Butler’s administration is not fully aware of what the band needs.
“Unless you’re a music person, you don’t really understand the proper facilities that (the marching band) needs,” she said.
“The administration supports us, but they lack the knowledge to support us properly,” said Andrew Phillips, band leadership assembly president. Phillips is another liaison between students and band staff.
Despite the move, both Giazzon and Rauschuber said they feel very thankful for the new field.
Meaden said the administration has done, “a phenomenal job making it up to the band” since relocating it.
He named several benefits to the new space, including the fact that the band’s practice field is now a full-sized football field. The increase in space allows the musicians to practice exactly as they would perform at the Butler Bowl.
Along with Bond-themed music, the band will play arrangements of Johnny Rivers’ “Secret Agent Man” and Adele’s “Skyfall,” the title song of the newest James Bond movie of the same name.
Every show this year will have a scene or two with the Bond theme, but at the Homecoming performance during the Oct. 12 game against Campbell University, all of the scenes will come together like a James Bond mini-series.
Giazzon said the band wants to make shows more fun for the audience, by adding theatrical elements.
All three drum majors, for example, will leave their podiums and embrace different personas, including “the good Bond girl,” “the bad Bond girl” and Bond himself.
Other noteworthy shows the band will put on this year include the Band Day performance on Sept. 7 and Grechesky’s Memorial Show on Oct. 19.
The memorial show will honor Robert Grechesky—Butler’s wind ensemble director—and his retirement. Four-hundred musicians, including Butler alumni, will be on the field to play for the show.
Spectators at the football games won’t only be seeing uniform clad players, but they can expect to see Bond, brass and Butler students performing at half-time, despite a farther walk to practice this year.