When watching any college basketball team, the band is often something heard echoing in the background but not seen. The same is often the case with the NKU Pep Band, a group comprised of on average just 40 students. But don’t be fooled by their size; this small group gives off big energy in the stands. They’re often seen being very animated and loud on the sidelines.
The band would tell you the “ship is ran tight” with practice and dedication to attendance for each and every home game. It’s hard to miss them in the stands as they’re always prepared and ready to be loud for the men and women in black and gold.
If you were to ask the band what keeps them hyped up and ready for each game, they would simply tell you being a part of the school is enough to “throw their Norse up,” according to Sean Fitzpatrick, trumpet player for the pep band and senior at NKU.
This isn’t a band that goes unnoticed at games. In fact, away teams often compliment them for their playing and energy on the baseline, which makes it all worth it, according to Fitzpatrick.
“To have other basketball teams come up to us and say we’ve never heard or seen a band like you, it’s a nice feeling,” Fitzpatrick said.
Cody Patton, junior drum set player for the pep band agreed that admiration for what they do helps them “get overall confidence” with comments from fans like, “You guys were great.”
Often, they are the ones giving confidence to the team by belting out the fight song and revving the fans up throughout the game. Not only do they get acknowledgment from away teams, the Norse teams often invite the band to away conference games.
The band is always looking for new ways to help get the crowds going. Getting painted up in black and gold and wearing viking hats are some of the most popular rituals among fans, according to Chris Lawrence, bass guitarist and senior at NKU. Lawrence, one of the band members who gets all “decked out,” said he “loves being at the games.”
Since NKU has switched to Division I, more fans have been showing up to the games, according to the pep band. The band stresses that they can’t do it alone and urges everyone to come out to help root for the home teams.
The next home game the pep band will attend is on Feb. 14, where the NKU athletic department has called for a “black out” and asks everyone to wear black to support the men’s basketball team at 7 p.m.