Beyond offering its arena, the University of Dayton extends all that it can to make visiting basketball teams in the #FirstFour feel at home. That includes contributing UD’s Flyer Pep Band, which filled in for LIU Brooklyn’s band as the team played against Radford tonight, March 13, in the opening game of the NCAA tournament.
Though the Flyer Pep Band — the self-described “best pep band in the land” — was just hired yesterday to play for LIU Brooklyn, its members came to the court dressed in LIU Brooklyn black ready to give it their all.
“There’s a certain amount of respect that you give to the other team,” said Seth Adams, first-year mellophone player, in a Blackbird Nation shirt. “You give it 100 percent. We’re doing stuff that we would usually do for Dayton.”
That includes playing a familiar roster of pop tunes to keep the crowd engaged during game breaks.
While the Flyer Pep Band does what it can to support a team whose band is unable to travel, the rules are slightly different than if it was playing for a UD home game. Musicians aren’t allowed, for example, to stand up during play. UD’s pep band is also used to being the only band on its home court. During the tournament, however, bands from the rival teams must trade off having the spotlight.
For senior Abby Lisjak, piccolo player, the opportunity to do something different is an interesting change of pace.
“It’s fun to follow our team, but these are teams we don’t get to see very often, so it’s exciting to see them,” Lisjak said.
Adams’ pride is set in Dayton, but he said it’s still a great opportunity to play for an expanded audience. And in the end, for him, it’s all about basketball.
“I love coming to the games and watching these guys play,” Adams said.
For the University of Dayton, too, these March Madness games are all about basketball.