HIGH POINT, N.C., April 8, 2013 – The High Point University Pep Band took to a different – and much larger – stage on Saturday by performing the national anthem prior to the start of the Kroger 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at the Martinsville Speedway in Virginia.
The band, which normally performs for men’s and women’s home basketball games, volleyball games and special events in the community, saw the race event as a new and exciting opportunity that also may help them secure future performances.
“Being in front of such a welcoming, enthusiastic crowd was incredible,” says Tyler Steelman, SGA president and percussionist in the Pep Band. “I was truly excited to be standing alongside such fantastic musicians on the track of the speedway.”
The Pep Band, which consists of 29 musicians from 10 different states pursuing degrees in more than 17 fields of study, was formed in 1927 and is led by Dr. Danny Frye, faculty adviser to the group and assistant professor of music. The group performs at 40 events yearly in front of more than 47,000 viewers.
The Speedway alone holds 65,000, and the race was televised nationally – so the chance to perform for such a large crowd was one the group won’t soon forget.
“Being able to share this moment with my friends and fellow musicians was wonderful,” Steelman adds. “Our mutual support for one another helped propel us to give an exceptional performance for the fans and viewers across the nation. … After performing the national anthem, we walked into the grand stand, and as soon as we began walking up the stairs, the fans all around congratulated us and thanked us for our performance.”