CROMWELL, Conn. — Story by Nathan Millette Cromwell High School
Cromwell Connecticut’s Pierson Park is normally a place of calming recreation and relaxation. But at night, it turns into an eventful hotspot of excitement and energy.
The crook behind this case is the field the Cromwell-Portland Panthers football team call their home every fall. However, there is another factor that contributes to the environment of the game, that being, the Cromwell High School Pep Band.
They play a variety of tunes which are used to encourage the team. Sebby Zaleski, a CHS band member, explains that they play music including “Christmas carols, to Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne.”
Regardless of what they’re playing, they try their best to help others have fun. Olivia Fortenbach, another CHS band member, states that she just loves the energy, the bond the band has created, the band has just built off of each other. The band members are all friends, and at the end of the day, they play their instruments and have fun with it. It almost feels like a family, kind of.”
Pep bands have a military origin, where they are used as a means to boost morale and spirit among the troops. These purposes are clearly visible as the band performs today, helping illuminate the nighttime games into an event of passion in support for the town of Cromwell. From the student section, known as “The Mob”, to the football team, the community loves seeing and hearing the band’s support.
Gowrish Sriramalinga, player of the Panther’s football team, confirms that the pep band is a really great experience, especially as a player. It feels like it adds a whole atmosphere to this team that not much get. So, the team is happy to have the pep band here.
However, every band needs a leader, and that’s where CHS band director Mike Schmidt stepped up to the music stand. He explains that “obviously, the band is providing the music, but, the band is like part of the experience. When a great play happens, the band plays something. When there’s a touchdown, the band plays something, and it’s to literally ‘pep up’ the crowd.
In Cromwell, the Panther’s football games are always on point. However, all it takes is some extra music and energy to truly ensure an exciting time. Both the team and the band are looking forward to making more hits both in and outside Pierson Park.
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