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Marching Band's "Ritual Fire" Honored at National Conference

west chester university marching band

May 17, 2013

The Incomparable Golden Rams Marching Band's "Ritual Fire" program was chosen as one of the 10 field shows - and the only one from a Division II school - to be featured at this spring's College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) Bi-Annual Conference.

The honor is a first for the Marching Band, notes Andrew Yozviak, WCU's Director of Bands for the College of Visual and Performing Arts School of Music. "Every college marching band in the country is invited to submit a video," which is reviewed by a committee chaired by Sam Sanchez, University of Notre Dame. The featured videos are presented to the CBDNA members at the conference.

The other bands selected were Arizona State University, Baylor University, Bowling Green State University, University of Connecticut, University of Florida, Georgia State University, Texas State University, University of Texas and Western Carolina University.

Annually, the Incomparable Golden Rams present three shows reflecting a visual theme: a pre-game show, a long exhibition show (2012 was the Ritual Fire Show) and typically one other show (2012's was a show in honor of Military Appreciation Day).

Student leaders are involved in the creative phase of each year’s routine, Yozviak says. "Their involvement is mostly manifested in coming up with ideas for music and contributing ideas for our visual presentation. The actual design is created by our directors and staff." Student coordinators and drum majors serve as student directors who "are responsible for teaching the band marching technique, rehearsing music and coordinating the marching drill you see the band perform. Additionally, we have a group of some 25 section leaders who do much of the same with the members of their sections." The 2012 student coordinators were Kasey Davis (Hummelstown, Pa.), Chris Kefer (Lancaster, Pa.), Joe Luciano, (Perkasie, Pa.) and Michael Roche (Kendall Park, N.J.).

The 2012 drum majors were Joseph Ciappina (Middletown, N.J.), Michael Pettis (Delran, N.J.), Christa Sipes (Chambersburg, Pa.) and Matthew Wolf (Kendall Park, N.J.). "Giving our students the opportunity to participate in various leadership roles has always been an important aspect of what we do with the WCU Marching Band. Many of these students will be directing their own groups once they graduate."

Check out a video of the Ritual Fire show at wcubands.org/marchingband