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Monday, November 29, 2021

Music

UH marching band stands strong throughout seasons


The Spirit of Houston — the UH band — marches on the John O'Quinn Field at Robertson Stadium during halftime at a football game. | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The Spirit of Houston — the UH band — marches on the John O’Quinn Field at Robertson Stadium during halftime at a football game. | Courtesy of Brian Reading

The arrival of a new Fall semester ushers in another Cougar football season, and one of its loudest supporters is the UH band, the Spirit of Houston.

According to Director Troy Bennefield and Drumline Coordinator Jamey Kollar, eagerness to contribute to the school’s spirit is something that attributes to the ever-growing enrollment of the 300-member marching band.

Bennefield ensures that the staff does not take the responsibility of managing a large University band lightly.

“We really try and do our best to make the alumni and current students so proud because the reality is when we go out to play and interact, we represent the student body.“

Kollar, a veteran percussionist who recently received his graduate degree, is very enthusiastic when it comes to this season’s drumline and marching band.

His time with the band is dedicated to making preparations, which includes two-hour rehearsals three days a week followed by game day practices.

“Kick off is usually at 7 p.m. and the band will start rehearsing at 11:30 a.m.,” Kollar said. “There is a short break to eat and get changed then it’s time for pre-game show so it’s a 12 to 13-hour day.”

The Spirit of Houston is about 45 percent music majors, and the rest of the spots are filled by students of various majors including business, computer science and engineering.

According to Bennefield, 140 freshmen were added to this season’s roster.

“Every school is different. At UH there is a two year-requirement for music education majors, “ Bennefield said.

“We think that is important because chances are they are going to be teaching at a place with a marching band and it’s important that they are learning those types of skills: how to teach, how to be successful. But we rely so much on those people who want to be involved. They are here because they want to be. “

In regards to the Cougars’ recent losses, the band still remains motivated, serving as the positive energy that demands school spirit in and off the stands.

“That is one thing that has been consistent through good years and bad years,” Bennefield said. “Every student stands until the very end of the game. Whether we’re up by 70 or down by 70, we’re going to be there supporting.”

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