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UC marching band revving up for 'once-in-a-lifetime experience' at Cotton Bowl

UC marching band
Posted at 11:21 PM, Dec 29, 2021

ARLINGTON, Texas — The engine of the Bearcats fan section is revving up for the performance of a lifetime.

The UC marching band is already in Texas, preparing for Cincinnati's first College Football Playoff appearance. While the historic group's 270 members are well-prepared for the national stage, hitting the right notes doesn't just happen — it takes hard work.

Band members can be found practicing the UC fight song before any given game, making sure they've perfected the song that encourages players and fans alike.

"The marching band brings the college in college athletics," said Christopher Nichter, director of Bearcat Bands. "There's a big difference between the pro and the college situation. In the game atmosphere, the band is a huge part of that."

UC's band is not only providing entertaining music — it's focused on lifting the spirits of everyone at the game.

"We try to be the engine of the student section...engine of the stadium...that engine drives the energy for the team," Nichter said.

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When they are at Nippert, co-head drum major Tanner Stacy said tradition plays a part in what they do. If anyone has seen how the band gets into the stadium, they know the Bearcat Bands have charged onto the field for around 70 years.

"We're gonna put everything we've got into being that engine — make sure the crowd gets excited," Stacy said.

But what else is there to expect for a group whose motto is "T-U-C-B-I-D-G."

"The UC Band is Damn Good," Stacy and feature twirler Anita Ney said in unison.

And they are right — the band is good as the hallmark glide step, the razzle-dazzle of the twirling section and more. None of it is easy — hard work is what makes it work, just like with UC's football team

"My freshman year, our team was 4-8 and there was hardly anybody in the stadium, so seeing the transformation our last four and a half years has been absolutely incredible and I've been so honored to be a part of it," Ney said.

They're taking the "Down The Drive" cadence to Dallas, and relishing in the moment.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all of us...the biggest thing is making sure students are in the moment," associate band director Nicholas Angelis said.

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