The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Marching into a new season


The Hawkeye Marching Band prepares for the first game of the football season.

By Charlie Peckman 

 [email protected]

As Iowa City prepares for the upcoming football season, one group in particular has its work cut out — the Marching Band.

After countless hours of work and months of preparation, the Hawkeye Marching Band is ready to play with 70,000 fans packed into the stands of Kinnick once again.

One of the most iconic jobs of the band is to perform the halftime show during football games.

Kevin Kastens, associate director of bands of the University of Iowa School of Music, wrote in an email to The Daily Iowan that he is excited about the half-time shows and the six different themes the shows will present this fall. They will include a Daft Punk-theme show, a Stevie Wonder show, and a tribute to veterans in November.

Of the 260 members of the band, 86 of them are first-year musicians. UI freshman Charlie Rietz, a member of the drumline, said the audition process for the Hawkeye band differed from his previous auditions in high school.

“It was a lot more intense, and the music is much more challenging,” he said.

Rietz said the upperclassmen have supported the first-year musicians.

Although freshmen can look forward to this season knowing they have three more after it, more experienced members of the band must bid a bittersweet farewell to Kinnick Stadium.

No one knows the difficulty of this goodbye more than Whittney Seckar-Anderson, the Marching Band’s Golden Girl. Originally from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Anderson has made Iowa City her home for the last five years by participating in many events and performing in three bowl games.

After this season, however, she must sadly bid Kinnick Stadium adieu.

Seckar-Anderson said she feels excited going into her final season, but it is a little bittersweet.

Although Seckar-Anderson is sad about leaving, she said she is excited to see all of the incoming freshmen. Walking onto the field for the first time is an “exciting, memorable moment,” she said.

In an email, Kastens said Seckar-Anderson will be difficult to replace.

“Whittney has provided four wonderful years of exciting and creative performances for our Hawkeye fans,” he said in the email. “I look forward to seeing her perform during her final season. She is a true artist-performer.”

Regardless of age, all members of the band have one thing in common — they must go through training.

Although Kastens said not a lot is new in terms of the band itself, musicians had the opportunity to improve this summer.

In the week prior to class, he said, band members participated in a training camp, and the aim was to increase members’ music proficiency before the season starts this week. Kastens said the band members made a lot of progress and is ready to participate in the game this weekend.

“This will be the first of many lasts,” Seckar-Anderson said.

The Marching Band will preform a pregame show on Krause Family Plaza at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

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