Marching Band Cut from Music Program

By Ian Beabout, Online Editor

On Friday, March 18th, it was announced that, as of fall 2016, both the Marching Hilltoppers and Pep Band would be cut from the music department’s curriculum. The announcement subsequently came as an e-mail from director Brian Baldauff, sent to the members of both ensembles.

“This decision was based completely on funding and as a cost saving measure by the University,” said Baldauff in the e-mail. “This is not the fault of any single person or organization, on or off campus.”

In addition to cutting these ensembles, students enrolled will also lose the financial aid that the participation in these groups ensures. Band members and students alike are unhappy with the recent decision.

“I’m outraged,” said Morgan Goddard, sophomore journalism and public relations major, who played mellophone and was a color guard member. “Marching band has always been a part of my life since middle school and to have it just taken away is terrible.”

“I have to apply for a lot of scholarships and do work study on campus to come here,” said Goddard. “This just means more student loans that I will have to take out and find some way to pay off.”

“It’s sad that artistic endeavors are always the first ones to go and I’m really disappointed in the University’s decision,” said Jessica Bethel, junior graphic design major. “After going to St. John’s (Central High School) and seeing the band disappear after my freshmen year, I hate seeing the same thing happen to West Lib.”

“School spirit is diminished and a football game isn’t anywhere near the same without the band,” said Bethel. “I really hope the University can find a way to bring it back, because I’m very disappointed. Now I just wonder what’s getting cut next.”

“With this door closing, other doors for different opportunities could open,” said Baldauff in the e-mail. “I am still hopeful for the continued growth of the music area and am here to work on developing what comes next.”

There are currently no plans to resurrect the athletic bands program in the near future.