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The Racquet Press

The student news source of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

The Racquet Press

The student news source of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

The Racquet Press

“We are visible ambassadors of UW-La Crosse”: UWL Screaming Eagles Marching Band presents Gameday in the Vineyard

Ann David
Screaming Eagles Marching Band at Elmaro Vineyard. Photo taken by Ann David.

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Screaming Eagles Marching Band (SEMB) held a fundraiser this past weekend, Sept. 7, at Elmaro Vineyard in Trempealeau, Wisconsin. The band marched through the rows of grape vines and into an open area where audience members were able to watch and listen. 

The event kicked off when the band marched through an open space in the vines and played “On Wisconsin”, the official state song of Wisconsin. The band chanted and danced around in their parade lines and then marched towards the front of the audience’s tent. The Screaming Eagles Color Guard marched in front of the SEMB and their flying flags could be seen in the background, while the UWL Poms team danced on the left side of the band. 

UWL Poms team performing at Gameday in the Vineyard. Photo taken by Ann David. (Ann)

SEMB played selections from their current halftime show, titled “Radio Rewind”. Other songs performed include; “Sweet Caroline,” by Neil Diamond, “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark,” by Fall Out Boy, and “Fireball,” by Pitbull. These songs had the audience and the Poms team dancing and cheering. The band also played “Margaritaville,” by Jimmy Buffet to remember Buffet’s life of music-making and “tropical rock” style.

“Margaritaville” is a piece of music relatively new to the band. “One of our songs, “Margaritaville”, got passed out on Thursday, which was our last practice before the performance,” said Brookelyn Hohl, a first-year piccolo player. “But it’s all for fun; we take it seriously but the music is for entertainment.”  

The band’s performance also included guest directors from the audience, selected by Dr. Tami Fisher, SEMB director and Associate Professor of Music at UWL. Fisher searched the audience and selected guest conductors for a song; alumni and friends of the UWL music program were also invited to be guest conductors.  

Getting the audience involved was a highlight of the evening, and it also was an example of how involved the marching band is in the community. “Audience participation is really fun,” said Hohl.  

“We’re such a visible group in the community. We are visible ambassadors of UW-La Crosse,” said Fisher. The SEMB is present in the Coulee Region in many ways, not just UWL football games at Roger Harring Stadium at Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex. The band marched at Eagle Fest at UWL and marched in the Warrens Cranberry Festival in Warrens, Wisconsin. They will be marching in The Maple Leaf Oktoberfest Parade on Sept. 30 at 10 a.m.  

Marching band season began in late August. During what is called “Band Camp Week”, students moved into their dorms and met other band members for the first time. During this week, SEMB provided meals for all of the students before their meal plan started. “We use the proceeds from Gameday in the Vineyard for Band Camp when we have extra expenses; every little bit helps,” said Fisher.  

Alumni of UWL also contribute to the community aspect of the SEMB. The UWL Alumni Band performs every year in the Maple Leaf Oktoberfest Parade. SEMB alumni also support the marching program by giving music scholarships to students in the marching band. “There are so many alumni. Many of the students are second-generation marching band members. They are holding true to traditions,” said Fisher.  

Traditions aren’t only important to alumni, but to the students in the band as well.    

“For drumline, the traditions, the community that we have is really what makes it fun,” said drumline member Jessica Barrett. Community is what makes the band tight-knit; the connections made from participating in the SEMB last after the student’s time in college is done. 

To see more of the SEMB the marching band review concert is a great way to view the full band and listen to their music indoors. The review concert will be held on Oct. 29 at 1 p.m. at the Center Gymnasium in Mitchell Hall; admission to the event is free.  

Check out the schedule of SEMB performances here

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About the Contributor
Ann David
Ann David, Multimedia Editor
  • Year at UWL: Junior
  • PGPs: She/Her/Hers
  • Hometown: Eau Claire, WI
  • Major: English: Medical Professions Emphasis
  • Minor: Biology; Music Performance
  • Other Campus Involvement: UWL Wind Ensemble and Orchestra Member
  • Future Plans after Graduation: Attending grad school in Minnesota
  • Favorite activity in La Crosse: Walking through the Rotary Lights at Riverside Park in the winter with friends.
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