Bringing back marching band

James Jaskolka, Assistant Online Editor

President Patrick Leahy announced at Nov. 9 open house that starting in the fall of 2014, Wilkes will add a marching band and two additional intercollegiate sports – women’s golf and swimming.

Leahy said the marching band, which will be the first collegiate marching band in Northeast Pennsylvania, will help to bring in more high-caliber students, as well as enhance school spirit and help to build a new tradition.

“The Wilkes University Marching Band allows students to continue to play a musical instrument while launching a new tradition, building a legacy and being a part of Wilkes history,” Leahy said.

Dr. Philip Simon, who will be directing the marching band, looks forward to helping “build a tradition that last for years to come. I like the idea of helping create a tradition at Wilkes that will be around long after I leave,” he said.

Simon, who also directs the pep band, civic band and chamber orchestra, said the marching band will also offer plenty of leadership positions such as drum majors, section leaders, setup crew leaders, guard, pit and drum line captains that will help students grow.

“One of the things marching band does best is (provide) a large number of opportunities for students as they grow older and become more familiar with leadership skills and to use them in a meaningful way,” he said.

“I think marching band really helps to build life skills that are really important to students as they move through the four years at Wilkes,” he continued. “They go way beyond the field and college years … you learn skills that are lifelong skills, and it produces successful people.”

The marching band will perform for the first time during the first football game of 2014.

For more information on how to join marching band, students can contact Simon at [email protected]