“Pride of the Profs” steps in as Rowan’s first marching band

College of Performing Arts students gather around John H. Martinson, President Ali A. Houshmand, Dean Rick Dammers and Marching Band Director Megan Cooney to celebrate the new marching band. - Photo via Rowan University

Rowan University music students will be elated to know that a new marching band will be coming to campus this fall. Due to Dr. John H. Martinson’s recent donation of $5 million in support of the Honors College, the university will launch a new marching band, “Pride of the Profs” that music majors and non-music majors will be able to join. 

As a thank you, the new band surprised Martinson with a performance in the Chamberlain Student Center

Julia Irizarry, a junior music education major, was at the performance and thanked Martinson with a t-shirt at the end of the song. 

“It was really fun and exciting. There are so many factors behind the scenes for coordinating things like that. So it was very exciting to get to be a part of that and speak to all the people like marketing staff for the university in general,” said Irizarry. 

Megan Cooney, the Director of Athletic Bands and Associate Director of Bands will be directing the ensemble. Cooney is a Rowan alum herself, as she graduated from the ​​Instrumental Music Education program in 2011. She encourages students to join in the fall, regardless of whether they are in the music program or not. The band will perform at sporting events and other special university occasions. She places a strong emphasis on the community that students will be able to find within the band.

“I think that like, college marching band is a great way, even if you don’t have experience… to like, find a really large group of like friends. And you’re gonna have all different types of personalities in there because it’s not just necessarily music people,” said Cooney.

The ensemble will feature a color guard as well, which students will also be able to join regardless of past experience. Cooney also noted that there will not be any fees for students who wish to join, which is not the case at every university. They will meet on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays next semester and auditions are not required to participate. 

“My goal is to make it as large as possible. To do that, you can’t gatekeep participation,” said Cooney.

Jeffery Bigler, a freshman industry and performance major, showcased the band’s uniform during the performance. He is excited to be a part of the band as it begins to make its way around campus, and leave a legacy for future profs. 

“I think being able to be a part of the very founding of what’s going to be a long-standing tradition here is going to be really cool,” Bigler noted. 

Students who are interested in joining can attend the interest meeting in Wilson Hall room 156 on February 21st at 6:30 p.m. If they are unable to attend the meeting they can also reach out to Cooney directly or fill out the interest form online. 

For comments/questions about this story tweet @TheWhitOnline or email thewhit.newseditor@gmail.com

Hello! My name is Madison Miller and I'm one of the editors here at The Whit! I've been a part of the team since my sophomore year, and am currently at the end of my junior year where I'm studying journalism with a minor in entrepreneurship and CUGS in creative writing. I love to write profiles, explanatory pieces and have aspirations of traveling the world and being a freelance magazine writer. Additionally, I am one of the founders of The Lotus Review, a solutions journalism magazine startup that will be launching soon. When I'm not working you can find me with a good book or at a hot yoga class.