The Spirit of Tech: Hokie Nation's Perspective

The Marching Virginians work hard to live up to their title, “The Spirit of Tech.” While this blog usually attempts to show what it means to be “The Spirit of Tech” by telling the stories of those within the band, I thought that I would explore how those not currently marching view our organization.  After interviewing current students, alumni, Hokie and MV parents, and members of the Blacksburg community, I have compiled some great responses that show how Hokie Nation sees The Spirit of Tech.

What comes to mind when you think of the Marching Virginians?

The word “spirit” came up in countless responses to this question. Other popular answers included “tradition,” “talent,” “Tech Triumph” (Virginia Tech’s fight song) and referencing the fact that the MVs are always the last fans to leave the stands. It became clear that when Hokie Nation pictures the band, they imagine a talented group of musicians that work hard to support their team and spread Hokie Spirit.

Marching Virginians creating a VT on the field at the Battle at Bristol, The Guinness World record holder for the highest attendance at a collegiate football game; Source: Facebook

Marching Virginians creating a VT on the field at the Battle at Bristol, The Guinness World record holder for the highest attendance at a collegiate football game; Source: Facebook

Here are a few additional answers:

“I think of ‘Bah da da da da ta da.. Go Tech!’”

-Senior at Virginia Tech

“I think of awesome halftime shows and a big VT on the field!”

-Sophomore at Virginia Tech

“I think about how MVs are the most loyal fans and play/stay till the end no matter how bad the rain or the score. MVs keep the fans cheering and make me proud to be a Hokie!”

-Parent of a Marching Virginian

Do you have any special memories involving the Marching Virginians?

The MVs work really hard to make Virginia Tech a special place. Various Game Day activities, awesome halftime shows, playing for middle and high schoolers touring campus and participating in Virginia Tech’s annual 3.2 for 32 Remembrance Run are all examples of how MVs are a part of the heart and soul of Blacksburg. Interviewees shared an incredible variety of special memories with the MVs.

The Marching Virginians creating the United States on the field with the Highty-Tighties and ODU’s marching band for the Military Appreciation game on September 23, 2017; Source: Facebook

The Marching Virginians creating the United States on the field with the Highty-Tighties and ODU’s marching band for the Military Appreciation game on September 23, 2017; Source: Facebook

“I love seeing the football team run over to them after a win to sing the fight song.”

-Parent of a Virginia Tech student

“I love when they are entering the stadium on game day and give high fives as they pass by!”

-Sheri Beveridge

“One drummer gave my niece (8 years old at the time) his extra set of sticks before a game. She still has them. It meant the world to her.”

-Virginia Tech fan

“I will never forget when they made an outline of the United States at the Military Appreciation game. It was cool to see them perform with the Highty-Tighties and the opposing football team’s band. It meant a lot to me.”

-Senior at Virginia Tech

“Watching the exhibition show at a high school band competition in Harrisonburg in 2015.  The band cut loose and started dancing around in the middle of the performance.  They showed their true personality, and to the high school band kids they were rock stars.”

-Carla Neigh, Parent of a Marching Virginian and self-proclaimed “Super Fan”

“Hearing them play after a first down is special every single time.”

-Parent of a Virginia Tech student

How do you feel that the Marching Virginians contribute to the atmosphere of Game Days at Virginia Tech?

The answers to this question overwhelmingly supported one idea: Marching Virginians are essential to creating Hokie Spirit on Game Days. The band brings an incredible amount of excitement to games that is infectious to Hokie Nation.

Spencer Rankin showing his Hokie Spirit in the stands, 2018; Source:  Facebook

Spencer Rankin showing his Hokie Spirit in the stands, 2018; Source: Facebook

“They are the KEY to the fun and enthusiasm in the stadium!  From high fives, to the MV’s walking into the stadium, to the pep songs in the stands, to the jumping to Enter Sandman, to the fabulous high energy shows they march every game, to the songs they play after each touchdown, they exude fun and VT spirit!  The audience loves them!”

-Alumnus, Class of 1982

 “It would not be the same without them. They especially contribute on the tough days. No matter how bad the first half may have been, come half time, it's game on. Similarly, even after a loss, the MV's smiles, spirit and sound help lift your spirit.”

-Kenneth R. Deans Jr., Parent of a Marching Virginian

“The fans feed off of the energy of the band, and the band gets their energy from them in return. It’s a wonderful thing to be a part of.”

-Alumnus, Class of 1997 

“For me they ARE the atmosphere... wait, there’s a game going on? The best part of Game Days is sitting near the band in the stadium and watching them play stand tunes, dance, cheer and just have fun. They never stop moving the whole game. They truly deserve the name “The Spirit of Tech”.

-Carla Neigh, Parent of a Marching Virginian and self-proclaimed “Super Fan”