August 29, 2014: an anxious SUMB awakens for 8 a.m. rehearsal. The crowds are forming, the quad is decked out and the Dome is testing its equipment. It’s game day. However, it’s not just any game day. For one-fourth of the SUMB, it’s the first time that they will ever run onto the Dome’s turf with thousands of fans in the stands. After what seemed like an eternity of practicing at band camp, the SUMB arrives at the entrance of the tunnel ready to storm the field. The excitement of the veterans and the nerves of the rookies are palpable. The SUMB lines up with huge smiles as the countdown starts. Soon, attention is called and run-on begins. The 2014 SUMB season had begun.
Riding high after the Super Bowl performance earlier in the year, the 2014 SUMB certainly had a high standard to live up to. Fortunately, the 2014 SUMB did not disappoint; the 2014 SUMB members made the season as fun, unique and spectacular as they are. Celebrating Professor Mertz’s tenth year on the field, the 2014 SUMB was one of the best and most memorable yet by introducing new traditions, working hard in the face of adversity and having one of the strongest sounds that the SUMB has heard in recent years.
As band camp began in late August, SUMB members and rookies alike streamed back to campus. The SUMB leaders greeted the new class of rookies (one of the biggest in recent years) with stern gazes and intimidating “Pride’s.” However, this ploy quickly dissolved as the leaders welcomed the rookies into their sections. After days of high-stepping, flanking and sliding, the 2014 rookies were up to par and met the returning veterans for the first time. The adventure had begun.
The adventure, of course, required a lot of work, but the SUMB was up for the challenge. On top of learning two tough shows, the unforgettable “Bohemian Rhapsody” show and a time-warping “Video Games” show, the SUMB had to grapple with learning drill for two incredible guest performances. First, Joseph Alessi of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra stopped by to perform a trombone arrangement of the “Bluebells of Scotland” at SU’s Homecoming show. Next, the Pride hosted SUMBand Day for local high school bands, performing together with hundreds of students to salute the troops serving around the world. Following the end of the game, the SUMB went on to perform a special post-game show, “Caravan,” featuring Professor Gabriel DiMartino, for their special guests.
Beyond the Dome, the Pride traveled to Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sept. 13 to perform halftime at their second Buffalo Bills game in front of a sold-out crowd. Shortly afterwards, the Pride traveled to play at the College Classic at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 27 to cheer on SU. Even as the buses broke down, the SUMB forged ahead and performed an awesome halftime show without any pre-game practice!
Although the SUMB worked hard, there was also some fun on the side. Professor Mertz surprised members when he decided to institute planks, superman’s and ‘banana’s’ into the SUMB warm up. Groups of SUMB members joined together outside of the Dome for ladies night, LGBBQT and more. SUMB members put on their best impressions and skits at the annual SUMBBQ picnic on the Onondaga lakefront. Finally, who could forget Section of the Week? This new SUMB tradition went to a dedicated section and granted points which ultimately went towards the crowning of the Section of the Year.
And just as quickly as it had began, the season was almost over. After the emotional last home game of the season on Nov. 9, the SUMB was able to have one last hurrah on the road in Pittsburgh. As the buses arrived after a tireless journey, the SUMB was greeted into the city with fireworks as if to celebrate the wonderful accomplishments of the season. After 4 months of endless practice, dedication and hard work, the 2014 SUMB season was over. However, as all SUMB members know to be true, the memories of the 2014 season will last a lifetime.