Members of the Pride of West Virginia and the band director Cheldon Williams express excitement to be back all together after a season where everything was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Julian Work, a senior trombone player, said last year the band was split into three different groups each having around 100 members.
“Last year’s season though we did have some stuff, we had to stay separated, and we had smaller groups, it’s just not the same,” Work said.
Additionally, since the band didn’t have a normal experience last season, a lot of the freshmen and sophomores are just now getting to see what it’s truly like to be a part of the Pride of WV.
“I’m really just looking forward to our first home game against Long Island, because that’s when a lot of these freshmen and sophomores are gonna really feel what it’s like to be in the band, when they first come running out of the tunnel, in front of 30,000 fans,” Work said.
Besides the sophomores and freshman not having a full experience, the Pride of WV also has a new band director, Cheldon Williams.
Williams was the band director the past academic year but due to the pandemic, he came in leading the Pride of WV under different circumstances.
So far, Williams has expressed excitement to be leading a full band and seeing everyone together.
“What I'm most excited about is getting the culture back with the band and getting the students back together performing,” Williams said.
According to Meghan Delaney, a senior trumpet player, the band is doing very well despite some challenges.
“We’re under a weird circumstance where over half of the band hasn’t marched, the new band director that we have now has never thought marching,” Delaney said. “So, between those two things, well, considering those two things, we are actually doing very well.”
Additionally, Delaney expressed that the underclassmen are relying on the upperclassmen for leadership.
“Even thinking back to my freshman year, I definitely relied on the upperclassmen in general.” Delaney said.
Williams also expressed that the freshmen and sophomores were doing great despite not having had the chance to fully experience the band.
“The freshmen and sophomores, I think they're doing wonderfully having to learn pregame and having to learn our process and the way that we do things,” Williams said.
Olivia Delgado, a junior mellophone player, expressed excitement to be finally back but Delgado also added that she was worried about COVID-19 and the chance it could shut things down for the band.
“I’m also a little worried just because a lot of people aren’t wearing their masks and following the rules,” Delgado said.
Despite her worries, Delgado was still looking forward to their first football performance at the WVU vs Maryland game.