Marching Hilltoppers to return to West Liberty

By Jerrad McNeil, Contributing Writer
On Sept. 21, it was announced that the University is bringing back the West Liberty Marching Hilltoppers. The marching band was cut due to budget reasons in March 2016. 

“I am very pleased to announce that we are now able to bring the Marching Hilltoppers back to the hilltop,” said President Dr. Stephen Greiner, “When the band was put on hiatus in March 2016, it was due to state budget cuts, and even though we continue to see state budget cuts, we have found a way to bring the band back. We value it as an integral part of the University and want to give students an opportunity to be part of the great tradition of the marching band.”
A search is now being held for a new Director of Bands, and the goal is to have the band fully operational by next fall. 
Dean of the College of Arts and Communication Dr. Matthew Harder also spoke at the press conference. He said, “On behalf of the Department of Music and Theater, we are very excited about bringing back the Marching Hilltoppers in the fall of 2018. We have tremendous support from the administration and we all feel that the band will enhance the sense of community and excitement for our campus.”
“Our new Director of Bands will lead the flagship WLU Wind Ensemble, as well as the Marching Hilltoppers,” said Harder. “Our music program is very strong and this addition will add a new level of engagement and new opportunities for our students.”
Harder also stated that an active recruitment process is being held for the band and that there are scholarship opportunities available. 
The Marching Hilltoppers will be performing at athletic events, homecoming and other community events. This was an exciting announcement for Hilltoppers, especially for the musically inclined ones, as it gives students a new outlet to express their talent and abilities as well as make memories.
 “I am thrilled that the Marching Hilltoppers will be returning to campus next year,” said Greiner. “There are many talented students in this region who will now have an opportunity to pursue their passion for performing in a marching band while earning a West Liberty University degree.”
One member of the band, Jason Sivert said, “Being that the marching band was my first real West Liberty experience makes it a real nostalgic thing to see it come back.” 
Students Gabriella Saporito and Shane Powell also performed during the press conference.
Photo credit: Media Relations