Marching Thunder seeks new members for fall semester


Richard Crank

The Marching Thunder warms up before the Boca Raton Bowl Tuesday in Boca Raton, Florida.

Marshall University’s Marching Thunder will have auditions the last weekend of April for drum line, front ensemble, majorettes and featured twirlers.
Marshall freshman Kelsey Patterson said she liked the free traveling that comes with being in band during football season.
“We got to go to Boca (Raton), Florida, for free, like we didn’t have to pay a single dime,” Patterson said.
The Marching Thunder was lead by a new band director this year, Adam Dalton.
The musical selection has become contemporary, and the energy has been revived among students and the Huntington community.
Patterson has words of advice for incoming members of the band under Dalton’s direction.
“Get used to the heat first,” Patterson said. “Practice your music before you come to band camp because you have to memorize it very fast.”
Alex Hersman, veteran drum line member, said the switch in band directors was beneficial for him and incoming members of the band.
“He made us work,” Hersman said. “I haven’t worked since high school. He made us work our tail off to get where we were.”
Hersman said he has high expectations for incoming members of the Marching Thunder drum line.
“Get ready to work, because if not, well sorry,” Hersman said. “#HerdBeats all day.”
Dalton received his undergraduate degree from James Madison University before teaching in Atlanta. Dalton recently received his masters and doctorate from the University of Alabama.
Dalton said he enjoyed discovering Marshall and its athletics this year. Dalton said he has a passion for his students and enjoys directing them.
“Some of the highlights were obviously going to the Boca Raton Bowl, that was a lot of fun.” Dalton said. “We gave a pep rally down there that was just so much fun. The students played incredibly well ,and the people that were there loved it. It was just a lot of fun to be there for that.”
The band also played at a Pittsburgh Steelers game this year.
Dalton said the pep band had a completely different energy this year in comparison to the past years and people are having positive reactions.
“(Dan) D’Antoni actually gave us a game ball and said we were the reason that we won that game (home game not stated), which was very nice,” Dal;ton said. “He’s been so supportive of us this year.”
Dalton said the Marshall football team’s head coach Dan D’Antoni has called them the sixth man before, and Dalton said the new name of the pep band is the “sixth man band.”
Dalton said those whose sections are not featured in the April auditions should come to band camp.
“The auditions in April are just for our drum line, color guard and majorettes,” Dalton said. “For all the wind players, there isn’t really an audition it’s come, sign-up for the course and be there at band camp.”
Senior drum major Rebecca Ricks had parting words for new members of the Marching Thunder.
“Make sure you’re ready to work hard,” Ricks said, “and make sure you love what you’re doing.”
Mercedez Speight can be contacted at [email protected]