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Building a Successful Pep Band

CONTRIBUTOR

Name of Contributor: Mark Perry
Member Organization: Redcoat Band Alumni Association (RBAA)
Email: (Contact Your NAoAB Regional Officer)
Background: On the UGA RBAA Board as Director of the RBAA Pep Band since 2012

INTRODUCTION TO ISSUE

Organizing and Maintaining an Alumni Pep Band for the purposes of raising funds for the current band program, develop “community” for the Alumni Band throughout the year, and help spread the goodwill and “brand” of the Band to as many places as possible.

THE CHALLENGES

  • Developing a large enough data base of potential players to cover the needs for playing at events when requested no matter the day, time and place.  
  • Develpoing a team to organize communication with: 1 – party requesting the RBAA Pep band, 2 – the Event Space hosting the event and 3 – the Alumni Pep Band members indicating their availability to play.

THE OPTIONS CONSIDERED

  • RBAA Pep Band Leadership Team: Director; Secretary; Event Procurement (multiple people)
  • Making recent graduates aware of the Pep Band opportunity and encouraging them to be a part of an event as soon as possible upon graduation as well as a short recognition each year at the Homecoming Alumni Band gathering.

THE OPTION TAKEN AND REASONS WHY

  • Pep Band email data base developed by the Secretary for effective communication
  • Coordinating “welcome” to recent graduates and informing them of the Pep Band opportunities (primarily person-to-person communication)
  • Expanding opportunities to play from primarily UGA-themed events to now include weddings, birthdays, social gatherings and parades
  • Visibility and activities are featured in the monthly RBAA eNewsletter.

THE RESULTS

Playing opportunities increased from 4-5/year to 9-10/year with a high of 12 one year

Substantial financial contributions to the RBAA General Fund

Great “community” development of RBAA “Family” throughout the year

THE COST INVOLVED

No substantial costs are incurred because of the volunteer nature of the Pep Band.  Only some small printing costs of business cards and promotional flyers to give out at events to begin the process of securing future events.

WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THIS OPTION TO OTHERS

  • I would highly recommend these options as it fulfills all the goals stated above.

LESSONS LEARNED

  • The main lesson learned is that the sooner a Team can be secured and developed the sooner all the stated goals can begin to be implemented and developed.  One person trying to do all the coordination of the Pep Band will limit the effectiveness of the group on every level.
  • Qualifying engagements early with the requirement of a donation didn’t reduce the number of serious performances.
  • A good volunteer instrumentation would commit, knowing there was a donation being given.

WHY THIS TOPIC IS OF INTEREST FOR A VIRTUAL ROUNDTABLE

  • Haven’t heard of many other Alumni Band Associations taking advantage of the possibilities of having an on-going Alumni Band throughout the year and its many positive benefits. 
  • There are many details that could be covered in a Virtual Roundtable – Number needed in the volunteer list, instrumentation, securing the donation, how the director assures a positive experience for the volunteer musicians, recognition for the volunteer musicians, etc.
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