Marching on

A uniformed marching band has been a dream of Casteton State College President David Wolk since he came to Castleton in 2001. But before the band could become a reality, Wolk knew that the school would need many improvements to the arts and athletics programs.

And when these improvements were achieved, Wolk and Music Department Chair Glenn Giles and Hank Vaughan, the school’s new assistant director of bands, to bring the marching band to fruition.

Vaughan has come to Castleton to create an environment with a uniformed marching band. He wants the Spartan marching band to march in parades and to support the athletic teams at Castleton State College sporting events.

He believes athletes will benefit from knowing the band is behind them.

“Maybe it means a point or two, but those points can be the ones that win it,” Vaughan said.

Kasandra Howe, a freshman mathematics major and member of the band, is optimistic about the band’s role as a supporter.

“It will add spirit to campus,” Howe said.

The band will work to create that spirit at football games next fall.

“College football is an environment. It’s not just a game, it’s a collegiate experience,” Vaughan said.

Vaughan has worked closely with the athletic department and said the program is a team effort between departments. Head football coach Rich Alerico said he is excited about the prospects of a marching band at Castleton.

“Nothing adds to the pageantry of college football like the sights and sounds of a uniformed marching band,” Alercio said.

Steve Jurnak, an athletic training major and member of the band, agrees.

“To have a marching band at a football game completes it,” Jurnak said.

The band won’t be limited to football, Vaughan said. They will play at other select games as well and there will be a spirit band in addition to the marching band that will play at men’s and women’s hockey and basketball this winter.

Castleton has 2,000 students and is a Division III school, Vaughan said. But Vaughan said he wants a Division I environment. He is aiming for 60 to 70 students in the marching band. This year he hopes to recruit 20 to 30 freshmen.

“There are no auditions, everyone is welcome,” Vaughan said. “Even if they haven’t picked up their horn in years.”

Next semester, The Spartan Spirit Band and Spartan Drumline will be offered as classes. Any interested students should contact Vaughan.

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