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Pride of the Plains, dance team, cheer perform for community

The Pride of the Plains held an outdoor “pre-game” and “half-time” performance at Brandenburg Field in Carnie Smith Stadium for the community. 

On Thursday, Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m, the Pride of the Plains Marching Band, the PSU Dance Team, and the PSU Cheer Squad performed a live rally for students, faculty, staff, and community members at Carnie Smith Stadium. The performance will include music typically played at a PSU home football game including the PSU Fight Song, “Welcome to the Jungle” and various drumline cadences as part of the “pre-game” portion of the program. In addition to the pre-game portion of the program, it will include a halftime performance with a Halloween theme with music from Phantom of the Opera and the theme from Ghostbusters. The Pride of the Plains will also play the “I Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley and then, the band will do a “Battle of the Bands” as well with two separate ensembles playing “25 or 6 to 4” by Chicago and “Jungle Boogie” by Kool & the Gang. 

Many members of the Pride of the Plains Marching Band are thankful for the opportunity to perform for a live audience in this show given. With the exception of regular rehearsals as the semester began, many members of the marching band only got performance opportunities through livestreaming themselves solo or through virtual ensembles. 

“After playing in small ensembles and virtually since March, marching band is going to be full of hype,” said Fayne Speer, junior in music education, to Pitt State Marketing. “I’m so thankful we are able to play together again, and safely thanks to research and precautions.” 

Speer was also glad about the fact that the performance will be livestreamed via Pittsburg State’s Vimeo page (pittstate.tv). 

“Most of my family lives in Texas so they don’t have the time to drive up just for this,” Speer said. “They have enjoyed the other virtual concerts the Music Department has done during the pandemic, as well, so I’m very thankful for the technological capabilities the university has.” 

The safety regulations for music ensembles, like the Pride of the Plains, the wind ensemble, the university choir and the Southeast Kansas Symphony, come directly from preliminary results from studies out of the University of Colorado and the University of Maryland. These studies aimed to scientifically research the transmission and proliferation of aerosol particles by which COVID-19 travels in a performance setting. These settings also include dancing, theatre and public speaking. The study found that various performance settings became much safer for both audience members and performers when performers wore masks and put safety equipment such as bell covers on their instruments. The study was funded by a variety of performance organizations, including consortiums of college band programs, associations of music directors, national music fraternities and state activities associations. 

Because of the pandemic, director of athletic bands Doug Whitten wanted to use the performance to “inject some energy” into the community similar to the band’s normal procedure on game days at Gorilla Village. 

“This year has been really interesting because information is literally changing day to day to day to day..,” Whitten said. “It’s hectic, it’s easy to panic… It’s a great opportunity…” 

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