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Blinn College band provides personal instruction, great performance opportunities

43rd Annual Blinn Buccaneer Marching Band Festival will be held Saturday, Oct. 7 at Cub Stadium

October 3, 2017

The Blinn College Buccaneer Band is in the midst of a Fall season full of events and performances.

The band is a part of the Department of Music, which offers music majors and non-majors an opportunity to use their musical talents in the marching band, concert bands, and ensembles.

“This is one of the best music programs offered at a community college,” music major Brendan Hubenak said. “With the great faculty that Blinn has, we get a lot of attention in band and in our private lessons to really hone in on what we do as musicians.”

The Buccaneer Band starts the academic year as a marching band before splitting into a wind symphony and symphonic band to begin the concert season.

For the 2017 season, the marching band features the music of Earth, Wind & Fire during the halftime performances. 

“These performances are always special because it is the first time that this group of students will do something very intense together,” said Sarah Burke, Director of Bands. “As music majors, anybody who is going to go into music education will have to conduct a marching band and will be in charge of its rehearsals, so our band provides a different viewpoint from what they grew up with in high school.”

The Blinn College Buccaneer Band is made up of approximately 120 students, of which 40 percent are music majors.

“Our program is one the most comprehensive two-year college music major programs in the state,” Burke said. “We have one of the highest transfer rates for music majors, but more importantly, we are one of the very few programs that offer equal opportunity for music and non-music majors.”

On Saturday, Oct. 7, the band will host its 43rd annual Blinn Buccaneer Marching Band Festival at Cub Stadium. Up to 30 high school bands will compete, followed by performances from the Blinn Buccaneer Band and the Blinn College drumline.

“It is an excellent opportunity for high school students to see what we are about,” Burke said.  “When they get to hear us, they have a better opportunity to make a decision about playing for us.”

On Saturday, Oct. 28, the band will host a 5K run prior to the homecoming game to raise funds for new uniforms. At the game, the festivities will continue as the band will be joined by the Blinn alumni band.

Following football season, the concert season begins.

“In concert season, students learn a lot more about fine-tuning musical shape and more technical playing and advanced literature,” Burke said. “Because we aren’t focused on feet and running around, students are able to focus on the musical side.”

On Sunday, December 3, the wind symphony and symphonic band will host a 5 p.m. fall concert at the Dr. W.W. O’Donnell Performing Arts Center to open the concert season. The event is open to the public and will feature an array of music, including holiday tunes.

In addition to the marching and concert bands, Blinn’s Department of Music offers many other musical outlets such as piano study, brass ensemble, woodwind ensemble, jazz band, percussion ensemble, and steel drum band.

“It is part of the experience of being music majors to be in large ensembles as well as small ones,” music major Rebekah Walker said. “It helps us build a good repertoire as well as a good foundation for teaching our own bands or being in bigger bands in the future.”