SHU Band Begins New Game Day Tradition


Editor in Chief and A&E Editor

This fall season marks the 25th anniversary of the creation of the Sacred Heart University Marching Band.

The past 25 years have been filled with field shows at half time of Pioneer football, parades in NYC for Columbus Day and Stamford for Thanksgiving, and pregame pump-ups called Skull Sessions.

“When the University completed the amphitheater this past spring we knew it was the perfect place to move the band’s Skull Session, before finally marching up to Campus Field,” said the Sacred Heart Director of Bands, Keith Johnston. “Moving the Skull Session to the amphitheater helped create the kind of atmosphere that college football fans expect.”

This new Skull Session format allows fans to watch the band play and the color guard spin their whole field show on the amphitheater steps. “We will also play school songs, patriotic selections, our field show with dances, and we even feature our new bagpipers,” said Johnson.

“It’s really exciting that we are starting these changes in our pregame show,” said senior flute player Emily Cummings. “We have never done anything like this before and for my senior year it’s fun to get the audience more engaged.”

The previous Skull Session routine was a march from in front of Seton and Merton Halls to the Chapel quad. Fans stood on the pebbles in front of the chapel and watched as the band played a selection of tunes and the color guard stood in parade rest.

“The new moves we’ve added bring more attention to the band and get the crowd even more excited for the game,” said senior flute player Samantha Runkel. “We really show our pride for our university and our team.”

Skull Sessions start an hour and fifteen minutes prior to kick-off on Saturdays and will last approximately thirty minutes.

“The new skull session is cool because now we get to do a pregame concert with the whole band and color guard,” said junior Bee Kelley. “As guard captain I really enjoy it because the guard gets to be more integrated with the band – bringing a visual to the sound.”

Fans should keep an eye out for when the band spells out SHU in their pregame show on Campus Field and the twenty-five in the field show commemorating the bands anniversary

“Come and check out the band at every home football game this Fall,” said Johnson. “With the band playing and the guard twirling and adding great visuals, this is the perfect way to get pumped for Sacred Heart football.”

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