Band Extravaganza to be held at Xtream Arena for the first time

This year’s Band Extravaganza, the Hawkeye Marching Band’s annual show, will be held in Xtream Arena and feature three University of Iowa Bands, along with the introduction of a guest band.


Grace Smith

The Iowa marching band performs during halftime of a football game between Iowa and Kent State at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. The Hawkeyes defeated the Golden Flashes with a score of 30-7.

Anaka Sanders, Arts Reporter

The Hawkeye Marching Band’s annual Band Extravaganza is an opportunity for area bands to showcase their talent together in one large event.

Eric Bush, director of the Hawkeye Marching Band and associate director of bands at UI, said the Band Extravaganza is exactly how it sounds – an extravaganza. The event will take place on Nov. 7 at Xtream Arena in Coralville.

The Band Extravaganza will feature the Hawkeye Marching Band as the main event, as well as the Johnson County Landmark and the Iowa Symphony Band.

For the first time, this year’s event will include a guest band. The Iowa City West High School Trojan Marching Band will perform before the show and during the intermission.

“The Iowa City West band has been friends of ours for a long time,” Bush said. “Back in 2008, when we had the flood and the Voxman Music Building was out of commission, West High school was one of the first places to open their doors to us.”

Cosins Rich and Rob Medd — UI alumni and co-directors of the West High School Band — said they are excited for their students to have the chance to share the concert with the UI bands. Rob Medd said he is also excited for their students to be able to play for an older and broader audience.

The Trojan marching band will play pieces from their program this year along with a few new songs specifically selected for the performance.

Rich Medd said one of the reasons why they were asked to perform was to entertain the audience while the Hawkeye Marching Band sets the stage. The Trojan marching band has prepared 15 to 20 minutes of music to perform.

Rich Medd said they hope the Band Extravaganza will continue to invite high school bands as guests, and added that the Trojan marching band is honored to be invited as the first high school band to perform at the event.

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“I think it’s going to be an incredible opportunity for our students and parents to see the event and participate in it,” Rob Medd said.

Another first for the Band Extravaganza is this year’s venue. In previous years, the event was held in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, but this year it will take place in Xtream Arena in Coralville.

Bush said Xtream Arena feels more intimate than Carver because of its smaller size.

“There’s some really nice aesthetics that are there,” Bush said. “I think all of our bands will sound really nice in the new arena.”

UI senior Nathan Bryk, Drumline Captain for the Hawkeye Marching Band, said that he is most excited to perform the recap of their halftime shows.

“We’ve had a lot of really fun music that we’ve played this year — my personal favorite is the 80s show,” Bryk said. “We play ‘Take on Me,’ ‘Careless Whisper,’ ‘Africa,’ and the crowd gets really into them because they’re really recognizable.”

He said Band Extravaganza is a great way to support the UI bands and students from West High School and encouraged everyone one to come out to see it.

“It’s the only place you can go and listen to the Iowa Symphony Band and Johnson County Landmark and eat a hotdog and get some popcorn,” Bush said. “It’s a cool mix of events”.

Tickets are available to purchase at or by calling Xtream Arena’s box office. Band Extravaganza begins at 3 p.m. on Nov. 7 at Xtream Arena.

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