Here comes the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Titan Thunder.
The University has announced plans to add a marching band to its repertoire, with the expectation that a 100-piece unit will make its debut in fall 2022. The Titan Thunder Marching Band will be an integral part of UW Oshkosh Titans game days and other campus and community events.
“Making this announcement during our sesquicentennial year is particularly impactful for our University,” said Chancellor Andrew Leavitt. “A marching band, and its pep band component, will help us add to the excitement and camaraderie that only music can create at our athletics and special events. This component of our music program will meet the stated interest of our students and prospective students.”
Development of a marching band has been on Leavitt’s priority list since he took the helm at UWO in 2014. A former marching band participant in his college days, Leavitt connected with Music Department Chair Alison Shaw soon after his arrival in Oshkosh. As the institution prepares for a fully open fall and the region moves out of the pandemic, now is the time to move this initiative forward, he said.
UWO has begun a search for a marching band director, with a target hiring date of May. That will give the director more than a year to build the program from the ground up. The new hire will play a key role in the formation of the band—including its style, instruments, uniforms and beyond.
“The music department is beyond excited to welcome the new marching band director to our team,” Shaw said. “Marching band directors are some of the most dedicated educators around, and their love of music and learning is infectious. This person will take 100 or so diverse students and turn them into a group of friends, a beautiful sounding music machine and a point of pride for the university.”
Student recruitment for the Titan Thunder Marching Band—or Titan Thunder, for short—will begin in the 2021-22 academic year. Students from all three UWO campuses will be eligible. More information on the process and the timeline for assembling the band will be available in the months ahead.
“Marching band can bring people from widely diverse backgrounds together for a purpose that reaches beyond the individual and creates community,” Shaw said. “Just like choir and other concert ensembles, it requires discipline, dedication and teamwork. These are just a few of the obvious things that will benefit the students who participate.”
The work to establish the Titan Thunder at UWO comes as the University celebrates its sesquicentennial year. A pep band, made up of musicians from the marching band, also is expected to be formed for the purpose of playing at smaller indoor events, possibly as early as the 2021-22 academic year.
“The new marching band at UWO will be exciting, dynamic and a lot of fun,” said Director of Bands Devin Otto. “Students will have the opportunity to engage with each other musically and socially, and to help start new traditions that will have a positive impact on campus life for years to come.”
For more information and for students to express interest, visit uwosh.edu/music/marching-band.