The Monmouth University pep band (Bud McCormick)

The 2016-2017 school year has started and along with the sports teams the marching bands have started their seasons too. This edition of “Stepping Off with Mr. Bud” highlights the Monmouth University Pep Band and the Ocean Township HS Band.

What is better than going to a Monmouth University football game or basketball game, and getting involved, having fun, and participating in the “Big Sound of the Jersey Shore?”

Student member Ryan Real said "This program is so much fun, and I have learned so much more about myself, that I switched my major from Science to Music Education."
Ryan, who graduated from Ocean Township High School credits Professor Bryan Jenner for his encouragement and inspiration in switching his major to Music Education.

Jenner is the Director of Pep Band and Instrumental Ensembles at Monmouth University and has been there since 2009. In that time, the band has grown from a fledgling 17 members to just about 50 members today.

Professor Jenner states that membership in the band is open to undergraduate and graduate students at Monmouth University regardless of major. The band also falls under the Music and Theatre Arts department at Monmouth University and is part of the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The Monmouth University Pep Band is the most active performing group at Monmouth University. The Pep Band performs at all Monmouth University home football games as well as Women’s and Men’s basketball games at Monmouth University. In addition, the Monmouth Pep Band is on call to perform for the President of the University and can be heard at various university events throughout the year.

Some new selections for 2016-17 are “Carry on My Wayward Son” by Kansas, “The Pretender” by the Foo Fighters, “Exes and Ohs” by Elle King and “Holiday” by Green Day. In addition, some standard tunes that audiences have enjoyed are “Crazy Train” by Black Sabbath, the renowned stadium anthem, “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes and “Uma Thurman” by Fall Out Boy.

For further information about the Monmouth Pep Band, or to book the band for an area performance, contact Prof. Bryan Jenner at .

Ocean Township High School Band

The Ocean Township HS Band under the direction of Kyle Titmas, were ready and excited to perform at their first home game of the 2016-2017 football season on September 2nd, 2016. The Spartan Band marched proudly into the stands in their full red and white band uniforms and played the National anthem with Drum Majors Jared Babitsky and Matt Gronert conducting.

Some of the student leaders include: Drum Captains Matt Esposito & Bryan Lowe,
Color Guard Captains Avery Faust & Rachel Fenniman and Color Guard Co-Captain Monique Ucal.

The musical theme for this year’s Spartan band includes: Music of Frankie Vali and The Four Seasons. Their story is the 40-year friendship of four blue-collar kids working their way from the streets of Newark to the heights of stardom and all the way to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Their show is fantastic, and you must see it if you can. Some of their musical selections included were: Can't Take My Eyes Off of You, Big Girls Don't Cry, December 1963, and Walk Like a Man.

The Marching Spartans enjoy performing in many local events in and around Ocean Township, and will also be competing in their very first band competition at Jackson Memorial High School on October 8th, 2016.

This year, the Marching Spartans will also be traveling to Virginia where they will perform for thousands at the Azalea Festival

Harold “Bud” McCormick, who served as Band Director of Jackson Memorial High School the past 33 years, and also was selected as the People’s Choice award winner 2016 for being the “Biggest Fan” as selected by the Asbury Park Press, has volunteered his services to help promote the musical arts.

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