A Bowl-Bound Band
After five months of grueling practices and long game days, the members of the Vandal football team are not the only ones ready for the 2016 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. The 230 members of the Vandal Marching Band will be taking the field at Albertsons Stadium on Thursday, Dec. 22, to do what they do best: enthusiastically support the football team and play for the thousands of Vandal faithful in the crowd.
Since August, the Vandal Marching Band, a part of the Lionel Hampton School of Music in the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences, has been performing at university and athletic events. Traveling to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl will be the capstone on an exciting season for these students and a memory that they will not soon forget.
Athletic bands Director Spencer Martin ’99 can still remember the excitement of attending the 1998 Humanitarian Bowl. Martin was a senior music major and played percussion in marching band.
“It was exciting; there was so much energy,” Martin said. “The 1998 bowl was the first bowl game that any university from the state of Idaho had ever played in, let alone won. I remember excitement buzzing throughout the state, the university, and the band.”
Kate Pawelko ’14 of Idaho Falls was a freshman history and Spanish major in 2009 when the Vandals revisited the Humanitarian Bowl. Pawelko played the baritone, trombone and trumpet in the marching band.
“As a freshman student, attending the Humanitarian Bowl as a marching band member was a humbling and exciting experience,” Pawelko said. “Seeing the public enthusiasm for the University of Idaho, the football team and the Vandal Marching Band showed me the depth of feeling that alumni have for this university. It made me incredibly proud to be a representative of UI.”
“Playing ‘Go Vandals’ as the team came running up the field is one of my most vivid memories, not only of the bowl game, but of my entire undergraduate career.”
Playing in a bowl game broadcasted to a national audience allows more people to witness the enthusiasm, creativity and skill of the marching band.
For Martin, attending the 2016 bowl game provides a unique opportunity to lead his alma mater on the national stage.
“I’m unbelievably proud of the hard work and great attitude the VMB students have put into this year,” he said. “It’s a group of people that I will never forget. I’m honored to share this experience with them.”
The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl will kick off at 5 p.m. MT on Thursday, Dec. 22 at Albertson Stadium in Boise and will be aired by ESPN.
Watch videos of members of the 2016 Vandal Marching Band as they prepare for the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on the CLASS Facebook page or Instagram page. See combined video of band members below, and see a slideshow of the band below.