The bright lights of Stewart Stadium will soon light up, and bring with it the sounds of cheering fans and the battle on the football field. Behind all those sounds, encouraging the spirit and the excitement is Weber State University’s marching band, the Thunder of the Rockies.
WSU’s marching band, under the direction of Dr. Shannon Roberts, has been a part of Weber’s athletic and music programs for a while. However, this year the band received additional funding to support growth. The growth of the group not only allows for greater things for the music program as a whole, but opens a path for greater opportunities for the athletic program.
“We are so thankful and excited for the opportunity to grow and get better,” Roberts said. “This year is proving to be bigger and better than years past.”
As their name suggest, the marching band really prides itself in providing the pep and the soundtrack behind many of WSU’s sporting events. The sound of the band and their song choices help bring up the energy level as well as the crowd’s and the athletes’ morale.
“Being that soundtrack and that energy level is exciting,” Roberts said. “Knowing that this year we are growing in size means our sound will thunder louder.”
Band president Colby Mellies is also excited for all the many opportunities that will come with the growth. Mellies has been a participant and member of the marching band since 2007, and has been a witness to all the growth.
“We hope to bring more excitement and spirit for the fans and the student body, ” Mellies said. “Being the Thunder of the Rockies is something that we take seriously.”
Even with the increased funding, there are a few things that the marching band is still working to earn funds for, like updated equipment and uniforms. “We have big goals that we still are looking to fulfill and are working hard each day to be able to provide for those,” Mellies said. “As we fulfill these goals, we hope to be able bring in more recruits to the many Weber State programs.”
The benefits are not just limited to the band program. Thanks to the establishment of the marching band, per NCAA guidelines, our athletic program can now have the opportunity to move up to a higher level of play. For example, going from the Big Sky Conference to the Western Athletic Conference.
The expanded band and athletic program brings recruiting power to all of Weber’s programs.
“There are great things in store for this season,” Mellies said. “From what I’ve seen, music has a way to inspire things in people that words or pictures cannot do. We hope to be able to help all of Weber State’s students be inspired to do great things this year.”