Stevenson Marching Band Students to Receive Free Course Credit, Grant Money
The new band director is recruiting marching band members.
It’s not always easy to start traditions from scratch.
But many university leaders at Stevenson University are trying, getting ready to launch the school’s first football program this fall. Patch is doing a series of Q & As with the leaders behind creating the excitement, school spirit and participation for the Mustangs.
The following is an edited interview with the marching band’s new leader, Mark Lortz.
Lortz was hired this past April to lead the new Marching Mustangs after being the band director of Westminster High School
Patch: How were you first approached by Stevenson University to be the band director after serving at Westminster High School?
Mark Lortz: Stevenson University held a nationwide search for their Director of Bands. I applied for the position, after much deliberation, and was honored to be chosen.
How important do you feel it is to have a pep band in a football program?
Marching band and football go hand in hand. Both programs promote unity and broaden a sense of unity on the campus.
How have you gone about recruiting students to be a part of a brand new marching band?
We got off to a late start so the Marching Band class wasn't actually in the fall 2011 course catalog. However, we are trying to appeal to the students by offering this as a two credit Fine Arts Class. There is a $500 participation grant for each student, and, perhaps the most exciting factor is the Marching Band class this year is free of charge. So basically, a student who takes marching band will receive two free Fine Arts credits, while using the grant money to pay towards other tuition!
Approximately what will be the size of the band?
That's a tough question to answer at this point. I am in the process of contacting students who said they were interested in marching band from this past year's open houses, and the list grows each week. We would love to have more members, especially brass and percussion, so spread the word!
Do you choreograph the routines and performances the band will play during the football games?
It's uncertain how involved the choreography will be this year, but we are contracting out for choreographers and already have interest from some nationally known Drum Corps International choreographers.
Is there any added difficulty because it is the first season for the football program and for the band?
Starting anything from scratch is difficult. But Dr. Kevin Manning and Dr. Paul Lack have been nothing but supportive and I couldn't ask for a more helpful and involved administrative team.
Have you been able to practice over the summer with the full band?
We did have a few informational meetings at the end of the school year and one night for interested color guard and percussion students to work on rehearsals. In addition, we will have a band camp in August.
What does it mean to you to have this opportunity to start a pep band for a new football program?
We are looking to make the marching band the pride of the Stevenson University. In many universities the marching band is the largest public relations vehicle and it would be terrific if can serve that function for Stevenson University.
Editors Note: This is the second in a series examining Stevenson's new football program.
See past stories: