Strike Up the Band

American International College’s pep band has been revving up the crowd at Yellow Jackets home football and basketball games for a dozen years. For the majority of that time, longtime AIC adjunct professor Scott Thomson has been the band’s faculty advisor. Thomson knows what it takes to create harmony—he was the band director at Agawam Junior High before retiring in 2012. Thomson writes and arranges for the band with an ear to the members and instruments he currently has in play. At its peak, the band was seventeen members strong but is now humming along with just eight, a result of nearly half the students graduating.

With pep band president Danica Johnson’s enthusiasm and drive, there is a push for new members to join. Johnson, a PT major with a psychology minor from Freemont, California, hopes to increase participation and is a one-person recruiting machine. Johnson, whose previous experience was Japanese drumming, joined the band last year playing the bass drum. Any instrument is welcome. The only requirement for newcomers is some basic knowledge of an instrument—any instrument. Trumpet, keyboard, saxophone, guitar, flute—even violin. The band practices every Monday from 4 to 5 p.m. and Johnson hopes to hit all the right notes, with new members coming aboard just in time for the fall season.

Photo credit: Leon Nguyen ’16