WRITTEN BY JAKE STUMP
With the 2018 football season on the horizon, Mountaineer fans have more to look forward to than touchdowns and Will Grier's Heisman pursuits.
A perennial fan favorite -- the Mountaineer Marching Band -- will be dazzling crowds with its musical and theatrical charm.
While we know and adore "Country Roads" and everything else in the Marching Band pregame show, what about the other tunes they blaze through during timeouts and delays in the game?
PHOTO BY JENNY SHEPHARD
Those are called “stand tunes,” meaning the band plays them while in the stands,
said WVU Director of Bands Scott Tobias.
“We look for songs that appeal to a wide, cross-section of the audience,” Tobias
said. “We want everyone at the game to feel like there’s a song they can relate
Before each football season, the band strings together
what it dubs its “repertoire list” that is played during pauses in the game.
For timeouts, the band has two minutes to perform. For other breaks in the
game, the band might play 10- or 15-second snippets called “short ditties.”
With a new director, Stephen Lytle
, taking the reins of the "Pride of West Virginia," don't expect many changes to the setlist, especially the pregame show.
"The iconic music and imagery that everyone knows and loves will still be in place, in the same order," Lytle said. "It is part of our DNA."
This season's halftime shows will include tributes to classic rock band Queen, the circus and veterans.
"A couple of the shows will feature some added surprises that, I hope, will be fun for the band and audiences alike," Lytle said. "As for a favorite, I don’t know. All of the show music has been fun to select and arrange, but who doesn’t love 'Bohemian Rhapsody?'"
House of the Rising Sun
“The House of the Rising Sun” is a traditional
folk song, popularized in the 1960s by British rock group
The Pride’s arrangement has become a staple for the band, performing it not only
at games but also across the state, such as at Jefferson High School in the clip
As a bonus, here’s a point-of-view video from former band member James O’Hara at
the 2014 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game against Alabama in the Georgia Dome.
If you don’t remember the outcome of that game, leave it at that.
Expect to hear "Holiday,” the third single off Green Day's critically acclaimed
“American Idiot,” during timeouts.
Lyrically, the song strikes a political tone as it took aim at right-wing America
during the George W. Bush presidency.
But the Pride’s arrangement washes away the angst and would even get William F. Buckley
The "Star Trek" theme is one of the band's short ditties, so don't anticipate a nearly-two minute performance as shown above in the video from 2009.
For sci-fi nerds asking "What about 'Star Wars?' the band has you covered there, too. The "Imperial March," which is Darth Vader's theme, is also on the short ditties list. In fact, tunes like "Imperial March" "Jaws" and "Seven Nation Army" give off strong, loud foreboding sounds that are suitable for when the Mountaineers are on defense, said Tobias, who was director of the Marching Band in 2017.
Mars, the Bringer of War
It doesn’t get more foreboding than this. While the title may not seem familiar,
you'll recognize the sound (it’s all cued up for you at the 4:24 mark). It’s part
of the overall orchestral suite “The Planets,” by composer Gustav Holst.
Tobias called this tune “sinister” and a favorite to play on third down with the
Mountaineers on defense.
The only thing that might top it would be if the Pride performed tracks from Slayer’s
“Hell Awaits.” Time to recruit more metalheads.
Bonus: Smells Like Teen Spirit
Nirvana’s breakthrough hit is not part of the Pride’s gameday setlist. But
this is hard not to share with the Mountaineer universe.
From a drum major’s perspective, this video, shot and produced by former band member
Kyle Monroe, shows the Pride performing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” at the Mountain
State Forest Festival in Elkins, W.Va., in 2016.
Unlike Kurt Cobain, none of the Pride members destroy their instruments following the performance.
And now....the list in its sweet glory.
The 2018 Repertoire List
Fight Mountaineers/Mountain Dew
WVU Alma Mater
Hail West Virginia
Halftime Show 1: Spy
Halftime Show 2: Queen
Fat Bottomed Girls/Bicycle Race
We Will Rock You
Halftime Show 3: The Circus
Barnum and Bailey's Favorite
The Greatest Show
Halftime Show 4: Panic! at the Disco
The Death of a Bachelor/I Write Songs
Halftime Show 5: Veterans Day Salute
An American Fanfare
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
Halftime Show 6: Season Highlights
House of the Rising Sun
Talkin’ Out the Side of Your Neck
Take on Me
Red Solo Cup
Let's Go, Mountaineers
Ba Doo Dah
O Fortuna (Carmina)
Seven Nation Army
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