By Elaine Haskins
DuBOIS — The recent visit of a college band in DuBois was a great experience for not only the students but the community as well.
Recently, the Eastern Michigan University Marching Band gave a special performance for the public and the DuBois Area High School Marching Band at Mansell Stadium in DuBois.
The 208-member marching band played for about 45-50 minutes before a crowd of several hundred.
“The turnout from the community was fantastic,” DAHS marching band Director Tom Hiravi said. “It was really far and above and beyond what I expected.”
The college band passed through the area on its way to play at Penn State University Saturday and contacted Hiravi about using the stadium for rehearsal that Friday night before the game. In return for using the stadium, the college band performed for the DAHS band and the community.
“It was a really, really great experience for the students. They all got into it,” Hiravi said.
Hiravi said the college band arrived in DuBois about 3 p.m., used the stadium to rehearse and a dinner was held in the middle school cafeteria, which was paid for by both the DAHS Band Boosters and the EMU band.
The special performance by the EMU band was their version of a modified pre-game show as well as their halftime show, stand tunes and spirit selections.
“Afterwards, and the best part of it from my standpoint, was that they invited the students to come down and they interacted with the students in their instrument sections. They really loved it and the band was outstanding,” Hiravi said.
If the college band has an opportunity to pass through the DuBois area again, Hiravi said, “I’m hopeful that they will stop again.”
Amy Knopps is the conductor of the Eastern Michigan University Marching Band, which has a long tradition of musical and entertainment excellence and represents nearly every major on its Ypsilanti, Mich., campus, according to its website. The band has a rich 119-year history of serving EMU at athletic functions, parades and events.
The EMU Marching Band performs for all home football games; participates in Homecoming, Band Night and Family Day activities; performs exhibitions at area and national marching band festivals and competitions; and travels to one or two away games each year.