“With the flurry of trumpets and the rumble of a drum line, heads turn and pulses quicken. There is no better sound at a football game than when a university band takes the field.” With that same excitement, Southern Nazarene University announced this year that they will field a marching band in its 2016 football season. Led by a seasoned and equally excited band director, Daniel Abrego, this new addition to the university athletic program will be one of its finest.
Abrego comes from a rich history of music, as an accomplished trumpet and piano musician, graduating from SNU in 1994 and has gone on to be band director at several large high school marching band programs for the past 20 years in Texas and Oklahoma. Startup programs of this nature are always expensive and besides the selection of uniforms, new instruments will be ordered in waves between now and the start of the 2016 school year. Anticipated cost of uniforms and all instruments is budgeted at $160,000 with an additional amount needed over the course of the first year. Exact design and selection of the uniforms has consumed much of Daniel’s time of late with the prototype just released to him in November. Says Abrego, “I wanted a uniform that would represent a very professional and conservative style that would be closer to what the students are used to in their high school programs. Each uniform will be excellent in styling and manufacture, costing about $430 each.”
The band makeup will be a full complement of all instruments and will support a flag corps, with eventual use of rifles in a drum and bugle style formation. Initial goal for SNU marching band students is 75. Abrego has been actively recruiting both on the SNU campus and visiting local OKC high schools speaking to band directors and potential high school students. He will also be working closely with the SNU Admissions office to develop a strategy for SNU regional recruitment. Abrego believes that there will be a number of band students that won’t want to attend a large university. In the past, SNU has offered a symphonic band program the entire year and is suggesting a change in that history by offering marching band in the fall and symphonic concert band in the spring. Academically, there will be a credit offering for being a member of the band, if needed.
Financially, the student scholarship offering will be $1,500 per semester, which falls in line with other campus musical scholarships currently offered. The SNU football team was surveyed at the recent end of their season as to what they enjoyed most about the season and many said that having the supportive crowd and band at every game was their highlight. SNU administration realizes that having a full field-ready marching band program will add a tremendous amount of excitement, pride and camaraderie for both the athletes, students and band members, hopefully also driving new student interests in attending SNU. “There is no reason why we can’t field a top notch band here at SNU,” said Scott Strawn, V.P. for Business & Finance. “We support it 100%!”
If you would like to give to the SNU Marching Band, please go to snu.edu/giving.