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The Mustang Buzz

Your University, Your News, Your Life

The Mustang Buzz

Your University, Your News, Your Life

The Mustang Buzz

Pep Band: More Than Just Noise


If you have gone to a school football or basketball game, you have heard the Pep Band. With their high intensity and exciting performances, you most likely have gotten one of their catchy songs stuck in your head; I know I have.

The Pep Band plays every home game for men’s and women’s basketball and football. If interested, anyone is welcome to join. It is taken as a class that could be 1 to 2 or no credits, depending on what works with your schedule; there is no attendance needed. The director of the Pep Band, Dr. Ginocchio, said “I like the fact that we don’t turn away students, we give them a chance.”

When looking at all of what Dr. John Ginocchio does with his titles and accomplishments with SMSU and in life, it seems like he has anything but time. However, somehow, he makes it all work in his busy schedule. When asked how he does it, he said, “The group rehearses in the afternoons,” and “[He] does a lot of work with the students,” so there are rarely scheduling conflicts.

“They only play approximately once every two weeks,” which opens up a lot of time to rehearse and be prepared.

Dr. Ginocchio’s Pep Band is very thrilling, but what makes them so captivating?

“I love enjoying the energy on game day and the back-and-forth interaction of the game and the band,” he recalled times when fans, players, and coaches of opposing teams had given compliments about the band.

While he was at Ball State, among his other accomplishments, he did a lot of work with the Pep Band. When he left, he took some music with him. No, he didn’t steal it; he bought more of it and gave it to the SMSU Pep Band. While one can imagine having only so many songs would get stale, for both the listeners and the performers, Dr. Ginocchio keeps it interesting by adding around eight to ten new pieces a year. Along with the nearly 60 pieces already in use.

On top of creating the exciting environment of the games, they also do concerts. If you can’t get enough of them at the games, they have a concert once a year. The concerts are free and open to the public and only last 40-45 minutes.

When asked about the concerts Dr. Ginocchio said, “The concerts have been around for 10 years,” and “They were the student’s idea, they wanted time to play and be listened to.”

Dr Ginocchio highlighted the fact that the listener gets a chance to hear an entire song without interruption from the games. He also states that the songs used in Pep Band are popular and fun for the listeners. They have a different style from the more classical pieces that one might associate with a Pep Band.

Having been to one of these concerts I would recommend going to enjoy a listen.


For more information take a look at their site mentioned below.

Mustang Pep Band | Southwest Minnesota State University (




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About the Contributor
Tristan Primus
Tristan Primus, Editor in Chief
I am majoring in creative writing. I started writing for the Mustang Buzz for the fun of it, I like the writing and reporting of the paper. Outside of the paper I love music, I try listening to everything from Funk to Rap and I am constantly looking for more to listen. I'm also on the Intramural Ultimate Frisbee team.

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