The “Storm Beat” is back for its fourth consecutive year on campus. The pep band, directed by senior Katherine Simpson, plays at home football and basketball games. This year, the pep band was involved in homecoming events as well.
“We played at Campus Worship and Yell Like Hell this year,” Simpson said. “At campus worship, the leaders changed the words to some of our traditional songs. It was a good way to integrate different groups on campus.”
The pep band was also present at Simpson tradition “Yell Like Hell” last Friday. Junior David Turner, who plays the trumpet for the pep band, was excited for the event.
“The pep band can pump up the crowd a bit, and it adds an atmosphere of getting the crowd involved more,” Turner said.
Senior Quinn Albrecht agrees and thinks that having the pep band present gives the students a Saturday afternoon football experience.
“It’s more fun,” Albrecht said. “It gives the crowd something to cheer about, to get excited about.”
The pep band was created in the fall of 2006 by adviser Jim Thorius, vice president and dean of Student Development, and has been growing ever since. According to Simpson, membership is at the highest it has ever been, with 55 members. Members come from across all academic disciplines. Simpson says they are always looking for new members as well.
“We’re more than willing to take more people on,” Simpson said. “Even if they haven’t played in awhile.”
Junior Steven Ramsey said he thinks pep band adds a lot to the atmosphere of the games and students should appreciate the group.
“These students put in hours of practice to make our experience here at Simpson better, and for that they deserve a lot of appreciation,” Ramsey said. ” I love the pep band, they definitely add a touch of art and musicianship to football and basketball games.”
The pep band has a repertoire of classic “pep band” songs that are meant to rile up the crowd.
“They play some classics that people of all ages can enjoy,” Albrecht said. “You can tell they really enjoy what they are doing, even if it is pretty cold out.”
Albrecht also feels as though pride in Simpson College has improved with the addition of the band.
“I really would like to think that they have improved school spirit,” Albrecht said. “It’s really fun when they play a song that students and parents all know and will stand up and dance or cheer along with.”
Turner agrees saying that the pep band is a great way to get involved and help support Simpson.
“It’s a way to be a part of a group and enjoy the sporting event, as well as support the team,” Turner said.
What’s next for the Storm Beat? Simpson says she sees the future of the band continuing to grow, as long as the enthusiasm is still there.
“The group has a lot of enthusiasm,” Simpson said. “It’s a lot of fun to be part of.”