Lourdes University is ramping up school spirit with the addition of a pep band come fall.
The extracurricular activity is the latest offering at the private, liberal arts school in Sylvania, and officials aim to recruit 15 students with marching band and drum and bugle corps experience for the inaugural season. Officials hired Justin Kelley, director of bands for Rossford Schools, to lead the program.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for current students of Lourdes and also incoming students to continue music education through the collegiate level,” he said.
“Band is not a major that you can take, but the arts are very important at Lourdes, and adding this seems to be a fantastic step to make sure instrumental music is prevalent on campus,” Mr. Kelley said.
Mr. Kelley received his bachelor’s degree in education from University of Toledo and has performed with the Madison, Wis., Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps, Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps, and the UT Rocket Marching Band.
His new position at Lourdes is part-time, so he’ll continue his work with Rossford students.
The pep band will perform at basketball games and likely at volleyball games, as well as at welcoming events and other schoolwide celebrations.
“It’s going to be something that brings the Lourdes community together,” Mr. Kelley said. “Hopefully we will have a large presence on campus to give it more of a game day atmosphere, but also an instrumental music experience.”
The musicians also will perform indoor marching band shows with the ultimate goal of taking performances to the competitive circuit, Mr. Kelley said.
Rachel Duff Anderson, dean of student life at Lourdes, said the university is looking to “reinvigorate our musical experiences outside of getting a degree.”
“We know that much like students want to continue athletics in college, they want to continue their musical lives as well,” she said.
Pep band recruits will receive partial scholarships based on merit, just as the university’s student athletes do, she added.
And pep band is just the beginning of new musical programs at the school. Officials are working to recruit a vocal music director who would head several choirs on campus. Ms. Anderson said she is hopeful to have at least one choir up and running by the fall.
“This is really an opportunity for attraction of new students, engagement for current students, and really to benefit the whole community in the arts,” she said. “We anticipate growth from the pep band into all sorts of musical opportunities.”
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