Striking up pep band not as easy as it once was

Brittani Klaverkamp directs the Tracy Area High School pep band at halftime of a boys’ basketball game in January.

Busy student schedules are limit

By Per Peterson

Tracy Area High School Activities Director Bill Tauer loves a good crowd at games, and he remembers the bad ones — like the one at a boys’ basketball game in December against Minneota that he said had terrible attendance. On that night, like so many others, the girls’ basketball team was on the road, as was the wrestling team. There were Christmas parties that might have stole some fans away, as the holiday season was in full force.
“There was just no atmosphere in the gym at all,” he said of the Dec. 22 game.
Contrast that to nights when the pep band plays, and it’s a different story. But that’s easier said than done these days.
With students involved in such a wide array of extracurricular activities, getting the pep band together on game nights simply isn’t as easy as it used to be.
“I personally like the pep band, we all do,” Tauer said. “It brings more kids to the games. When the pep band plays, our student section is full. It’s a better atmosphere. I know the coaches and players enjoy it — that probably doesn’t get relayed to the band as often as it should, but they do appreciate it.”
Tauer said he and band director Brittani Klaverkamp study the athletic schedule before the school year to pick out dates where they believe enough band members will be available to play a home game.
The problem is, those dates have become few and far between.

For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.