Behind the music at Butler basketball games

Members of the Butler Band perform before the men’s basketball game against Miami (OH) on Nov. 10. Photo by Mason Lovett.

ELLIE ALLEN  |  STAFF REPORTER  |  emallen2@butler.edu

Butler basketball season is here, which means the basketball band is ready to entertain fans and enhance their experience at the games. Band members spend hours rehearsing and preparing to perform at both women’s and men’s basketball games. This year, the band will play courtside for women’s games.

The band begins to play an hour before tip-off to excite fans as they enter Hinkle Fieldhouse. Each individual band member is expected to attend 13 games total. Core band members have certain games they must attend, while other members can choose what works best with their schedule.

Anna Claire Bradbury, a junior middle secondary education and English major, plays the piccolo in the band. Music has always been an important part of Bradbury’s life, as she has been playing an instrument since kindergarten. Bradbury said she enjoys playing for the games, and especially likes to pep up the crowd when the team wins.

“My favorite song to play is ‘Back to Butler,’” Bradbury said. “We have a whole singing part at the end that we only get to play when the team wins.”

The band has more than 80 songs they have prepared to play at the games, and they meet for two hours every Friday to rehearse.

Alex Kinstedt, a fourth year biomedical engineering and biology major, plays the clarinet in the basketball band.

“When I was a senior in high school, during my visit at Butler, I got a chance to play with the basketball band at a game,” Kinstedt said. “I really enjoyed that experience. I knew that when I came here it was something I wanted to be a part of.”

Kinstedt said he believes the band has an impact on the basketball game.

“Especially at women’s games because there’s typically less than 200 people, we make up a lot of the louder fans, and now that we’re on courtside for women’s games, our voices really carry,” Kinstedt said.

The band can be heard playing songs like “Take On Me” and “Confident” from above the student section at men’s games or now courtside for women’s games.  

Morgan Kohler, a sophomore elementary education major, said she joined Butler’s basketball band because she enjoys watching the team.

“I watched Butler basketball back when they did the original Final Four [and] National Championship runs,” Kohler said. “That was a big reason I choose Butler as well, because they had a basketball band.”

Kohler also said she feels that the band influences the energy in Hinkle Fieldhouse.

“I think that if we, as a band section, are not really cheering, then I feel like there is not a lot of hype going on,” Kohler said. “The Dawg Pound can do so much on the floor, but when you get the upper voices in the top where we’re at, it brings a lot more energy to the crowd.”

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