Flyers, Riders To Team Up

ST. MARYS — A university and local school band are teaming up to provide a performance at the school’s first official home football game for the 2011 season.

The Pride of Dayton, the University of Dayton’s marching band, will be coming to St. Marys Sept. 9 to perform when St. Marys takes on Elida at Skip Baughman Stadium. This is the first time UD’s band has performed with the St. Marys All Brass Band, SMABB Director Dane Newlove said.

“I contacted them,” Newlove said. “This year, we have three former students in their marching band. I thought it would be a neat thing to bring to St. Marys because we have so many of our former students involved.”

Amanda Newlove, Jarrod Kinkley and Ed Larkin are the Roughriders who are now Flyers.

“It’s neat for our kids, especially the older ones, to see there are different opportunities for music after high school,” Dane Newlove said. “Most of the students in college marching bands aren’t music majors — in fact, two of the three former St. Marys students aren’t. It’s a good opportunity for them to see they can continue playing their instrument.”

Larkin, a communication major with an emphasis in theater, said he is excited to come back to his alma mater.

“I’m really excited about it,” the UD senior who plays the symbols for the Pride of Dayton said. “This is really great for me, just to be able to go back my senior year, to go back where it all started. It’s full-circle.”

Newlove noted the Pride of Dayton does several visits to other schools during the year.

“Their band likes to do outreach and perform at different high schools, and they’re more than happy to perform,” he said.

The Pride of Dayton Director Tremon Kizer noted the band will head to Dayton-area high school Oakwood High School the Friday after its performance in St. Marys.

“We also do tours,” Kizer said.

“We’ll tour a couple high schools in the Atlanta area and in the Jacksonville area. We also perform at a couple of marching band competitions where we do an exhibition performance, and there are probably 15 to 20 high school bands there.”

He added his students are excited for the hometown performance, and there are approximately six to 10 students from the Auglaize/Mercer county area.

“I do know they’re all very excited to go back and perform for their hometown,” he said. “Not many students have such an opportunity.”

Kizer said the performance is also “kind of a way for them to thank the community for all they did.”

“It kind of makes things go full-circle,” he said. “It helps send a message to those communities that music education is important.”

The opportunity can also open some of the students’ eyes, he noted.

“For the students from the bigger metropolitan areas, not only will it be a great music experience for them, but also a great cultural experience,” Kizer said.

During the visit, Newlove said SMABB will do the pre-game performance and noted Elida’s band has agreed to do a shorter version of its halftime show.

“The UD band will do their show at half-time,” Newlove said.

“We will be combining at the end with all three bands for a ‘Tribute to America’ — Sept. 11 is after the game, so we wanted to incorporate it. There will be close to 375 musicians on the field playing that.”

He also urged attendees to stay after the game.

“SMABB is going to do our prepared halftime show after the came,” he said. “We certainly encourage everyone to stick around after the game to watch us perform.”

While they are in St. Marys, the Pride of Dayton will receive dinner before the game in the commons area at the high school. The St. Marys Band Parents Organization, Subway on Indiana Avenue and We Can Too Opportunity Center will be providing food and drink for the band on their visit. Families of high school band members are also providing desserts.

“We appreciate the cooperation of these area businesses and our band families in allowing us to be able to feed these students on their visit to St. Marys,” Newlove said.

The UD band will then return to Dayton after the football game to be back to campus in time for its first home game on Saturday.