Strike Up the Band

Sep 02, 2019

The University Marching Band is ready for a busy season on campus and in the community.


It’s a busy season for Junior Kayla Hutter, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. 

The biology major with a concentration in mortuary science is taking 18 credits this semester while also serving as field commander for the Cal U Marching Band. 

The musicians perform at all Vulcans football games at Adamson Stadium, and the 2019 season begins with 1 p.m. home games against Kutztown on Sept. 14 and Shippensburg on Sept. 21 (Family Day).

The band’s 2019 field show, “California Dreamin,” features songs associated with sleep — “California Dreamin,” “Mr. Sandman,” “Enter Sandman,” “Livin on a Prayer,” “I Dreamed a Dream,” and “Sweet Dreams.”

“It’s a fabulous show with so many good tunes, and everyone will know at least one song in it,” Hutter said. “The crowds will really enjoy this.”

The busy season for the band will also include games at Edinboro (noon Sept. 28); the Coal Bowl at IUP (2 p.m. Oct. 5); at Slippery Rock (1 p.m. Nov. 2); high school band festivals at West Mifflin High School (Sept. 21) and California High School (Sept. 28); the Collegiate Band Festival in Allentown, Pa. (Sept. 29); the Cal U Homecoming parade (Oct. 12); and the California Borough Halloween parade (Oct. 30). 

Hutter welcomes the active autumn.

“Since the fifth-grade bands have been a really big part of my life,” she said. “I can’t give it up because it is who I am, and I absolutely love it.”

For the fifth year the Cal U Band will incorporate local high school bands into home football game activities.

Visiting bands will perform their high school halftime shows before Vulcans games. After the pregame performance, the high school musicians will join Cal U band members in the stands.

California and Charleroi High School bands will perform during the Sept. 21 and Oct. 26 games, respectively. On Nov. 9, Mass Bands Day will take place for a second straight year and include halftime show participation. Last year 99 musicians from 12 different schools performed.

“We are looking forward to doing this again, and it’s a nice recruiting tool,” said Dr. Frank Stetar, director of University Bands and co-chair of the Department of Music and Theatre. “We enjoy giving the younger musicians a more personal look at who we are, and everyone has a good time.”

Hutter also enjoys the tradition.

“They get to see what we do and how much fun a college band is and can be,” she said. 

“You make so many new friends in the band, and once you do it you won’t want to stop.”