Last week, The Marching Virginians finished out their 2019 band camp! Band camp is always an incredibly busy, productive, and hot week at the MVC that begins with auditions and ends with a good amount of drill on the field and music under our hands. This year, on campus students were not able to get into the dorms as early as they have in past years, so we were a little pressed for time, but we made it work by being focused and productive over the course of the week.
Percussion, new flags, and new winds came on Monday and began their practice and audition process. On Tuesday, returning flags joined the new flags in rehearsal, and returning winds had their formal auditions. That evening, drumline made their final rosters, while new winds and flags moved to Lane Stadium to learn about what it means to be an MV. This is an annual event where rookies get to hear from returning band members about their MV experiences and their experiences at Virginia Tech.
On Wednesday, everyone rehearsed both marching and playing, repping the Hokie Pokey, Tech Triumph, and other MV classics. That evening, both guard and the band posted their final lists, officially setting the 2019 edition of The Marching Virginians.
On Thursday, we began learning the music for our first show, which will be a boyband show featuring music by the Jonas Brothers and the Backstreet Boys. That night we had a delicious taco dinner and then got to hear from Dave McKee, the former director of the MVs, about his experience in the organization. He offered suggestions for how to get the most out of our time in the MVs and recounted important memories and events from the band’s history as well as Virginia Tech’s history. Everyone left with a better understanding of MV tradition and our own place within it.
On Friday, we got to take part in an amazing new MV tradition. We walked from the MVC to the athletics practice center, snuck up behind the football team during the last practice of their fall camp, and thundered out onto their practice field, shouting and cheering like we were running into battle. As soon as they registered what was happening, the players sprinted up to us, beyond excited to see us, and cheered as we began to play. They sang Tech Triumph and danced along, which led to some fun photo ops!
The highlight of the event was when Bud Foster—the Associate Head Coach, Defensive Coordinator, and Linebacker Coach for the football team—got up on the Drum Major ladder to conduct Tech Triumph. The football players went crazy, cheering their coach on, as he conducted the band. In a press conference, Coach Foster talked about the experience and had some incredible things to say about the MVs:
“Yeah it was really pretty cool, you know, I wasn’t expecting that. To be honest, it was kind of emotional. Those guys come out, and for them to ask me to lead their charge, so to speak, that was really intimidating too. You know, my technique was not very good at times… But they do such a great job, and they’ve been so supportive of our program over the years, and they’re one of the better bands in the country, so it was a pretty cool experience for me.” -Bud Foster
From that experience, the band truly felt the appreciation of the football team. After the event, the team also tweeted some amazing things to the band that truly showed their appreciation for everything we do. We’re so grateful to have the support and appreciation of the football team, and we can’t wait to cheer them on this season!
After the exciting events of Friday, we returned to our show music and continued preparing both music and drill. On Saturday, we got ice cream cake at the end of rehearsal from the MV Alumni Association. As you can guess, we were very happy.
On Sunday we had the morning off before a short afternoon rehearsal. Then, we went to the Hokie Hi Picnic to perform for the incoming freshman class and teach them some of the important game day cheers. We always enjoy the picnic, and just being in the stands gets us beyond excited for the football season to start.
The regular rehearsal schedule began on Monday along with classes, and since then, we’ve been working hard on our first show. We’re proud of the progress that we made during band camp, and we’re counting down the days until we’ll be back in Lane Stadium for some Hokie football!