Joining the Band: Rookies’ Perspectives

Each of us has a different path that led us to the SUMB. Here are some of our newest members and how they decided to join the band this fall.

Patrick New

Patrick with SUMB trumpets.

Hometown: Mexico, New York
Intended Major: Music Education
Instrument: Trumpet

When making my choice to come to Syracuse, I asked everyone I know that went to Syracuse or is currently attending how they enjoyed it. Also, I was fortunate to be able to participate in the Syracuse University Youth Wind Ensemble my junior and senior years of high school, where I worked with Syracuse faculty members like Professor Mertz and Dr. Ethington. I was also offered guidance by my band director, Mr. Brian Carnes, who records many concerts in Setnor.

I am most looking forward to SUMB because I have been told by several people I know (including current students and alumni) that it is a lot of fun and very family like. I had the opportunity last season to play with the band at the Toledo game, which was a lot of fun and I was able to meet some great people.


Sarah Linnertz

Hometown: North Syracuse, New York
Intended Major: International Relations
Instrument: Flute

Hey all! My name’s Sarah Linnertz and I’m from North Syracuse, New York. Where is that? It’s about fifteen minutes north of Syracuse. At this point in the game, I’m an international relations major. I’ll be playing the flute in the SUMB this fall, and I’m insanely excited!

I taught myself to play the piano when I was four years old, and while I’ve been doing it for a while, I’m not as good as most people who’ve been playing for that long. I picked up the viola in third grade, and I played it until ninth, when I decided that I really didn’t have enough time to practice. I also played the flute from fourth grade to sixth, when I was forced to quit by some awful principals. The summer before tenth grade, my best friend convinced me to join our school’s field band, and I had a ball.

Every year, our band went to State Championships at the Carrier Dome. As you probably know, SU’s band plays there because it is home turf. I’ve always had so much fun watching the SUMB, and I always imagined how fun it would be to be a part of it. When I got accepted to SU, I was so excited because I would be able to join.

I’m super excited for the season to begin! I’m so excited that I get to be a part of the band that I’ve been admiring for years. I can’t wait to meet everyone. Let the fun begin!!

Robert Downes

Hometown: Holtsville, NY (Central Long Island)
Intended Major: Music Education
Instrument: Vocalist, playing baritone in band

I went to Sachem School District and was in the Sachem Flaming Arrows Marching Band. I joined in 10th grade, not knowing what MB was or how to play any band instuments. After being thrown a baritone and a fingering chart and enduring a hot, week-long band camp, marching band fused itself into my DNA.

Sachem performs in the NYSFBC and is in the LS3 division. At my first NYSFBC Championship, I was taken aback at the beauty of the Syracuse campus and in awe of its size, especially the Dome. But that was just an exterior point of view, it all changed when I actually marched out of the locker room, through the double doors and saw the interior of the Dome open up to me. It is a moment I will never forget. The feeling of performing in the Dome is what pushed me to stay in MB for the next two years. One more year on baritone and my senior year as head Drum Major.

Being able to see the UB marching band and the SU marching band was really a big deal to me because I knew that the college that I was going to go to HAD to have a marching band. That college luckily turned out to be SU and I am so excited to start! I count down the days until band camp starts and the home game performances are already starred and highlighted on my calendar.


Jenna Stango

Hometown: Moscow, Pennsylvania
Intended Major: Music Education
Instrument: Flute

After beginning my first field show during my freshman year of high school, I thought to myself, “Wow, I can’t imagine doing this another three times in high school.” The next three years, contrary to my initial belief, flew by. Sophomore year was significantly easier because I was no longer a rookie. Junior year was smooth sailing. Senior year I was drum major of my high school’s marching band, and the thought of never marching a show again was unbearable. It was at this point that I knew I needed to go to a college with a marching band.

Knowing members of the SUMB got me acquainted with the program, so Syracuse was an obvious place for me to apply. I was ecstatic after my acceptance and committed shortly after as a music education major, specializing in flute. A few months later, my Orange Peel came in the mail, and college suddenly seemed real, not far away. I was really excited and slightly overwhelmed leafing through it. At that moment, I couldn’t wait to go to the next level and arrive at college band camp. But I was also scared. Scared of starting out fresh, scared of being out of my element, even scared that there wouldn’t be a uniform short enough for me. However, everything I’ve ever heard about the SUMB has been overwhelmingly positive.

I can’t wait to meet new people and learn new music. Oh, and marching indoors? No more frigid cold Pennsylvania outdoor football games! I’m hoping marching band will make the transition to a new place easier. It’s hard to believe I move into Syracuse in a few short days. But I can believe one thing: I absolutely made the right choice becoming an “Orangewoman” and an excited rookie of the SUMB.

We can’t wait to welcome these four and all the other rookies to the SUMB this fall as they help us continue our tradition of musical and visual excellence…and everything else.

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