From Lane to Cassell, from touchdowns to buckets, and from 330 to 107, the Virginia Tech Hokies Pep Band brings the familiar energy and spirit of The Marching Virginians to the basketball court. This small group of students comprises numerous members of the MVs, but also contains many new students and a different instrumentation. In the words of the director, Chad Reep, the Hokies Pep Band “enhances the atmosphere of what is collegiate basketball. We provide the soundtrack for the game.”
While there exist many similarities between The Marching Virginians and The Hokies Pep Band, this smaller group is beginning to find its own identity and to build new traditions. By incorporating a drum set, guitars, and bass, the pep band is able to generate a more rock and roll vibe. Chad Reep says, “we focus on enhancing stand band. With more playing time, we get longer tunes, more pop tunes, and a larger repertoire. There is a lot of cross-over with the MVs, and the traditional Tech songs tie us together. However, we are finding our own identity by changing the music. By including sections where the band sings to get the crowd involved, since it’s more feasible in the smaller environment.”
Along with the changes in the pep band, the basketball team has also been building in the past years under head coach Buzz Williams. The team made history this year by achieving the most ACC wins this season in school history, which led to a trip for the team and the pep band to San Jose in the NCAA tournament. The achievements didn’t stop there, as the Hokies were able to make history again by heading to the Sweet 16 for the first time since the tournament got expanded.
Despite the major differences and growing pep band, there is one major aspect that both bands hold according to Reep. “The students I get to work with. Lots are MVs, and it’s like I get to work with MVs year-round. It’s an incredible opportunity to get to experience these trips and watch great basketball under coach Buzz. But I love introducing new members to this program, like the guitar players who otherwise wouldn’t get the chance in the MVs.” Even though the marching season ended, that same spirit lives on through the spring semester in the form of The Hokies Pep Band. Continuing to grow under second-year director Chad Reep, the pep band works to match the excitement of Hokies basketball and is looking to bring the electricity to Washington D.C for our match-up against Duke.