Step by step, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is continuing toward its goal of debuting the Titan Thunder Marching Band this fall.
The ambitious undertaking, announced last spring and now under the direction of Joe Scheivert, includes the formation of a 100-piece marching band that will be an integral part of Titan game days and other campus and community events.
“I’ve been really encouraged by both the support of the UWO community and the level of student interest,” said Scheivert, who was hired in summer as director of athletic bands.
“There have been considerable efforts across campus to build a strong foundation for this program, and I’m confident that we’ll be able to provide an exceptional experience for our student musicians and Titan audiences next fall.”
As if the anticipatory ante needed any upping, Scheivert also has been busy working to assemble a second athletic band. A new pep band, called the Bolt Band, was launched in late 2021 for the purpose of playing home basketball games in January and February. It’s likely that students playing in the Bolt Band will go on to play with the Titan Thunder.
There have been a number of other noteworthy developments in recent months regarding the marching band:
In the fall the University unveiled logos for both the Titan Thunder Marching Band and the Bolt Band. Those marks, and some supplementary artwork, were developed by University Marketing and Communications designers.
The new Titan Thunder logos will be seen on the marching band uniforms that have moved on from the design phase and into production. Scheivert expects the look to appear fresh and innovative without crossing into avant-garde.
In November, work started on preparing the land on campus that next year will be the Titan Thunder practice field. The space is located along the Fox River between the Environmental Research and Innovation Center and the Student Recreation and Wellness Center. The hope is for the field to be ready for marching in August.
“It’s such a perfectly framed area and ideal for this,” Scheivert said. “It’s close to residence halls, it’s close to dining commons, it’s close to Reeve, it’s close to Kolf. … I could not ask for a better practice area.”
While Scheivert stressed the fluidity of so much of what the future holds, his target for the official start of student sign-ups for the marching band is March 4. (March fourth—get it?) Until then, current and prospective students are able to express interest in Titan Thunder involvement at uwosh.edu/marchingband.
The Titan Thunder’s big debut is planned for the first home football game of 2022. Keeping with the theme of fluidity, the football team’s upcoming nonconference schedule won’t be announced for weeks. Once the date of the home opener is known, the marching band calendar can then be solidified.
One of Scheivert’s top focuses in recent months has been simply getting the word out. He’s already sent news of the Titan Thunder to every high school in Wisconsin.
“I’ve spent time at schools around Oshkosh and at some down toward Milwaukee that have competitive marching band programs,” he said. “We want to make sure all around the state it’s known we’re doing this.”
How to help: Efforts are underway to establish a scholarship and operational fund for the athletic bands. Money raised will assist in equipment, music, travel and other operational expenses of the Titan Thunder Marching Band and Bolt Band. The scholarship fund will help in recruiting top-notch musicians interested in participating in these programs. To donate, visit uwosh.edu/marchingband.
While the Titan Thunder Marching Band is a bold new endeavor, the University has had marching bands in its 150-year history. While it’s been decades since the Marching Titans days, we’re interested in hearing from those involved during their time at UWO. If you participated in a UWO marching band, fill out the alumni update form and let us know in the News and Update box: uwo.sh/update.