August 22, 2018
Faculty, students and staff coming back to campus this week may be hearing the familiar rat-a-tat-tat of the Incomparable Golden Rams Marching Band.
Positioned just outside of Swope and spilling over onto M parking lot and Matlack Field, the entire 324-member band began arriving last Saturday to rehearse their 2018 show in a week-long band camp.
They’ll preview the show for parents this Saturday, August 25th at 1 p.m. on Matlack field, and their first performance for the public is on Saturday, September 8, when the Golden Rams meet Gannon in the first home football game.
Adam Gumble is the newly appointed Director of Athletic Bands at West Chester University. He earned both his Bachelor of Music Education and his Masters of Music in Wind Conducting from West Chester, and while here, was a member and section leader of the marching band from 2001 – 2005.
“Coming back to West Chester to take this job is a dream come true for me,” says Gumble. “I want my students to have the same wonderful experience that I had when I was here marching.”
Gumble will lead the band to the prestigious Bands of America Grand National Championships in Indianapolis from November 7 – 10. There they’ll perform in Lucas Oil Stadium in front of 150 high school bands there to compete, as well as tens of thousands of spectators.
The show is called “The Traveler,” and is loosely based on Robert Frost’s famous poem, “The Road Not Taken.” In it are 38 12 ½ foot, moving, yellow trees. Themes in the music may be recognizable to fans, including a bit from “That Lonesome Road,” a song made popular by James Taylor.
“It’s a show about choice,” says Gumble. “The impetus came from many hours of brainstorming with our very talented design team. For Grand Nationals, we wanted a show that highlighted our strengths, and that was accessible to all audiences.”
He adds, “The Grand Nationals are a really exciting opportunity for us. We get to showcase the Incomparable Golden Rams Marching Band and our School of Music to thousands of high school students who may not be familiar with our programs.”
The last time the band performed at the Bands of America Grand National Championships was in 2009.