UNH students perform virtually with Intercollegiate Marching Band

Wednesday, January 6, 2021
Wildcat Marching Band on the field

Sarah McCorkle ’21, a participant in the Intercollegiate Marching Band, performing at UNH Homecoming in 2019.

Ten students from the University of New Hampshire Wildcat Marching Band (WMB) were selected to perform in the College Band Directors National Association Intercollegiate Marching Band (IMB). They joined nearly 1,500 performers from 200 bands in 45 states and Puerto Rico who worked together virtually to produce a college marching band show. The IMB will present Beyonce’s “End of Time” in a halftime video that will premiere during the College Football Playoff National Championship Game on Jan. 11, 2021.

The UNH students were nominated for this honor by Casey Goodwin, senior lecturer in music and director of athletic bands, in consultation with band staff. The participants from the WMB are:

  • Claire Anderson ‘22, hospitality management major, colorguard
  • Shannon Anderson ’21, mathematics major, trumpet
  • Sarah McCorkle ‘21, music performance major, tenor saxophone
  • Melanie Mowbray ’22, English teaching and educational studies majors, colorguard
  • Madeleine Neary ’22, occupational therapy M.S., cymbals
  • Alyssa Ostrowski ’23, music education major, marimba
  • Rebecca Paterson ’22, music education major, drum major
  • Cody Short ’22, music education major, drum major
  • Cassandra Sleboda ‘21, animal science major, colorguard
  • Spencer Wiles ’22, music composition major, snare drum

“The opportunity for these students to connect with like-minded band members from across the country has been wonderful,” says Goodwin. “While we were one of the lucky few marching bands who were able to put together a field show this year, we missed having a chance to connect with our audiences and to see other bands perform around the northeast. This, of course, isn’t the same, but it is a safe way to emulate those connections this year. I only wish our entire band could have had the opportunity to participate!”

Joining in unity during a time when college marching bands have been forced to the sidelines, the IMB has kept the spirit alive through this virtual performance. The project combines college marching bands from different conferences, regions and styles in a single performance that will showcase all the unique aspects of a college halftime show including musicians, drum majors, color guard members, dancers and majorettes.

Sarah McCorkle ’21, one of the participating UNH students, says the experience was great fun, partly because everyone she saw online seemed to share the same passion for marching band and was so excited to be part of the effort. In section breakouts, she enjoyed the diversity of saxophone players she met from across the country.

“One of the other cool things about being in this band was the recording process,” says McCorkle. “I had to record a video to submit in uniform, which was really special to me because I was forced to miss the final rehearsal of WMB in November and missed wearing my uniform with all of the other seniors. It was really special for me to be able to wear it with pride for one last time."

The WMB is the only traditional college marching band in the state of New Hampshire and is comprised of students from dozens of programs of study across the University. The band typically performs at all home football games, area band shows in exhibition, and various campus and regional parades, pep rallies and other events.

During the WMB’s centennial season in 2019–2020, they were selected to perform in the 100th annual 6ABC Dunkin’ Donuts Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade and at several venues in Ireland including the 2020 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin, though the latter was canceled due to the pandemic.

Over the past decade, WMB has become known for its innovative show design, electronic front ensemble and high-energy parade performances.

The College Band Directors National Association is a grassroots organization that serves a wide variety of constituents from the conservatory wind ensemble to the athletic band to the small college band and everything in between. For more information about the IMB, visit cbdna-imb.com.