More than 100 new faces for Cougar Marching Band this season

If you’re at a Washington State University sporting event this year and you think the Cougar Marching Band sounds a bit louder, you’re not wrong. 235 students will be filling the stands loud and proud this season at all your favorite Cougar games and other spirit events throughout the year.

This year’s recruiting class is one of the biggest its seen in the past decade. That means more sounds of school spirit filling Martin Stadium and Beasley Coliseum for Cougar sporting events. The first, this Saturday, when the Cougs kick off against New Mexico State.

As a Coug, when you hear CMB’s instruments, you think of home. You hear the Fight Song and you hear the Jaws theme song. Your cougar pupils can spot their crimson and gray uniforms from across the field.

You know them, but do you know how much work goes into being one of them?

“It’s a lot of like high energy, a lot of fun, and honestly some anxiety to an extent because we want to look good and represent yourselves really well,” said Charlie Holmes, junior in Cougar Marching Band.

Some band members dedicate around ten hours of practice each week to be game ready.

“We’ve been working on the stuff that we’re going to be performing on Saturday for the last two weeks. And even up to date, it’s still not perfect. It’s a lot of hard work. We work just as hard some of the football players, I think,” Holmes said.

They’re not exactly doing it for the money.

“It’s a small token for their hard work,. Our freshman get $200. Our seniors get $500,” said Troy Bennefield, director of athletic bands at WSU.

Divide those stipends between the endless hours of rehearsals and practices.

“We have students who they go to school all day, then they go to band, and they work at night to pay for it all,” Bennefield said.

But it doesn’t matter.

“There’s no monetary value that really makes the band worth it. It’s really for the experience and your own personal happiness,” said Maddi Zadzora, sophomore in Cougar Marching Band.

These students said they do it for their family, their WSU family.

“I have 235 other brothers and sisters. And then Dr. Bennefield is basically like a dad to all of us. He treats us like his own kids,” Holmes said.

“To see so many people that give of themselves and volunteer and sacrifice,” Bennefield said.

It’s all for you. To hear this sound in a place that feels like home.

If you want to see what it’s like to be part of CMB, registration is open for WSU Band Day. You get to go out on the field at Martin Stadium. You won’t get to put on the full suit, but you’ll get a t-shirt and a hat. The event happens during Homecoming game this season.