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PROFILE: Lakota Grad Keeps Bearcat Marching Band in Step

Date: Oct. 9, 2000
By: Erin Duffy, intern

With Homecoming right around the corner, the UC Bearcat marching band schedule is in full swing preparing for all the festivities the weekend has to offer. On tap for this year's program is the annual parade and halftime show, a performance by the Bearcat Alumni band and a special concert by the marching band at Sigma Sigma Commons.

Emily Ploetz Front and center leading the band will be Emily Ploetz, Head Field Director for the Bearcat Marching Band.

Ploetz, a fourth year fine arts education student from Lakota says that Homecoming is always an exciting time for the band. Ploetz says of the big Homecoming football game and weekend "It's nice to see the alumni come back, and the students get more excited for this game." The band has been practicing at least three times a week in preparation for the big weekend. Plans for the Homecoming show alone have been in the works for about a month.

As the band's Head Field Director, Emily's in charge of not only the obvious duty of leading the band on the field, but some behind-the-scenes jobs too.

Emily Ploetz

For instance, Emily makes sure that each band member gets a copy of the music being played which also includes keeping track of and organizing the band s music library. She also does scheduling for the band. And who settles quarrels within the band? Emily, of course. "Many times the field commander is the mediator to many arguments between sections or individuals."

How does one attain the position of Head Field Director of the Bearcat Band? In Emily s case, she started with the position of field commander two years ago. "There was an audition which consisted of directing a small band, playing ability, and an interview with the director." Before that, Emily was involved in color guard and also played flute and piccolo, two instruments she still plays for the band.

Emily was involved with music for many years before coming to UC. She says, "I have been playing musical instruments since I was in the sixth grade. The main reasons I chose UC were band and the art education program at DAAP."

Not only is Emily instrumental in the marching band, she is also involved in directing UC Bands in the Winter and Spring quarters the pep and concert bands. Anyone who attends UC basketball games is familiar with the pep band that plays at those games. While the marching band does not get to travel as often with sports teams, the pep band goes on many road trips with the basketball teams. During basketball games, it's Emily's job to choose the songs, know when the band is and is not allowed to play, warm the band up, make sure the band reports to the right place and communicate with the dance team and cheerleaders so that all of the entertainment groups are working as one. Both the marching and pep bands are very important in terms of leading the crowd in school spirit.

Bearcat Band

This year's Bearcat Band should be better than ever, especially since the number students returning to the band from previous years is much higher. "The higher return makes the marching band that much stronger this year," Ploetz says.

Every Bearcat fan and UC alumn will have plenty of chances to catch Emily and band in action Homecoming weekend. In addition to performing during the football game, there's the parade before the game and a band concert at Sigma Sigma Commons. This year's Homecoming weekend promises to be musically super-charged, thanks to our Bearcat Band.

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