UCLA Band in Taiwan


This year, the UCLA Bruin Marching Band was invited to represent Drum Corps International’s SoundSport international outreach program and perform at the Taoyuan International Band Festival in Taiwan! Over 50 members of the Solid Gold Sound performed for enthusiastic crowds and excited schoolchildren who were able to get up close and personal with the Band and their instruments. Featured below is the Band’s final performance in Taiwan. More information and pictures are available on the UCLA Bruin Marching Band Facebook page!

Wyatt Watkins, ΒΣ
Alumni Relations Officer 2015-2016

The Downfall of Troy

This year, the Cal and UCLA bands joined forces to pound the evil Trojan empire into the ground once again. This historical (and hysterical) event received coverage on ESPN, the New York Times, and Sports Illustrated!
However, before any of this could happen, war preparations had to be made. Last spring, brothers and sisters took an inventory of Downfall of Troy supplies, and a couple weeks before the show this fall, conducted a test set-up of the horse and forged some new wooden swords.

Everything seemed just fine and dandy, when suddenly it was realized, a single week before the Cal game, that due to the changes made to the tunnel at the Rose Bowl and the time constraints we would be faced with, the wooden Trojan Horse would no longer work! But worry not, for our fearless Director of Service John Malchar was ready to guide us through this disaster!

Using PVC pipe, brothers and sisters constructed a new and improved frame for our beloved horse. With the addition of some duct tape patches on the tarp, he was ready to rock and roll again! And thus, many hours of service later, the wooden horse was dethroned, and the reign of his snazzy and very portable modern counterpart began.

Annie Cheng, BP
Treasurer 2014-2016

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Director of Serivce John Malchar celebrates his masterpiece.

Halloween Show 2015

In the staff meeting before band camp, Gordon surprisingly revealed that for the Halloween game, the band would get to wear costumes during the halftime performance.Preparation for the Halloween Show began during band camp, when drum major Tony Rescigno (BΣ) started teaching each section the Thriller Dance during sectionals. The dance was over 100 counts long, and took a long time for the whole band to have it in sync. In the week leading up to the show, the band got more and more comfortable with the move, and began getting excited to perform in costumes in the Rose Bowl on Saturday. On the day of the game, the band had a full rehearsal in costumes before the game, and learned how difficult it would be to march in unwieldy costumes. The rehearsal helped work out some kinks with the Thriller Dance, and the TAs made sure each member was making the dance exciting in order to project the movements into the stands.  

As halftime approached, band members changed into their costumes and headed to the field. The show started with the theme from The Munsters, then the band made a pumpkin on the field and played The Addam’s Family Theme. Ghostbusters was next, where the color guard ran around the field in white sheets and drum majors Adam Fletcher (BO) and Tony Rescigno, who were wearing Ghostbusters costumes, chased the color guard around and sprayed them with fire extinguishers. This portion of the show was the first time the crowd seemed engaged in the show, gaining some laughter and claps. Next, Thriller began. The arrangement started with the main hook of the song, which immediately woke the crowd up. As the song continued, the band started walking like zombies into a block spanning 100 yards. As soon as the crowd saw the zombie walk, they started clapping in anticipation. When the dance started, the crowd got even louder. On the iconic Thriller move, the crowd responded more. Then when the band picked their instruments up to play the Thriller hook one more time, the crowd went crazy. After the last note, the crowd applauded and cheered wildly! The show had one of the best crowd reactions in my four years of marching band.

Nick Thompson, ΒΠ
President 2015-2016

Tower Project

Several KKPsi brothers diligently sand and assemble the tower's staircase. Photo Credit: Brittany Chiapa

Several KKPsi brothers diligently sand and assemble the tower’s staircase.
Photo Credit: James Simonelli

This summer, Psi completed its biggest service project in recent memory. Our previous band tower stood tall for over 25 years, until decades of rust, dirty waterlogged beams, and difficult maintenance issues made us decide it was time for a change. Once enough funds were accumulated through our persistent fundraising efforts, we contracted a metal worker to design and cut the structure of a brand-spanking-new tower.

The real work began when the freshly-cut steel arrived at UCLA. The first step was to sand all the metal in preparation for painting. This was arguably one of the most labor-intensive parts of the project. Armed with nothing but a few sheets of 120 grit, brothers sanded and sanded and sanded until their arms were about to fall off, then sanded some more. Once this was completed, it was time to go over the entire surface again with fresh black paint. It was messy, and it was tiring, but at long last, the pieces of the tower were ready for assembly.

Psi members show off their collective strength as they lift the top half of the tower with ease. Photo Credit: James Simonelli

Psi members show off their collective strength as they lift the top half of the tower with ease.
Photo Credit: James Simonelli

Each wooden step of the staircase, carefully hand-crafted and precisely positioned, gives the tower ascender a wondrous feeling of symmetry and mild euphoria. The handrails, an overwhelming sense of security. Each and every weld, so utterly perfect that you can’t help but smile. Our new band tower really speaks to the determination and humble serving spirit that are characteristic of each of our brothers.

Psi members living near campus for the summer break invested countless hours to assemble a safe, structurally sound, and stunning band tower. So, next time you see one, give that brother a nice, firm handshake, look the brother square in the eye, and say, “On behalf of your band director, and college bands everywhere, I give you resounding and unending gratitude.”

After months of work, the finished product stands strong. Photo Credit: James Simonelli

After months of work, the finished product stands strong.
Photo Credit: James Simonelli

Band Camp Move-In 2013

The marching season is fresh upon us, and with it comes an influx of eager, excited new band members! As freshmen and transfer students trickled in to their residence halls the day before band camp, Psi members assisted them by moving belongings and answering questions.

That same night, the KKPsi and TBS chapters at UCLA hosted a pizza party for everyone in band. The line for Hawaiian-style pizza was crazy long, but oh so worth it! With bellies full of cheesy, crusty Italian cuisine, the band members were finally ready for the crazy antics that would await them at band camp!

Special shout-out to Psi’s Director of Band Activities, Nick Ambrosio, as well as Epsilon Kappa’s Director of Band Activities, Audrey Urrutia, for making this year’s move-in experience a stellar success!

New band members as well as returners all feast together before the first day of Band Camp. Photo Credit: James Simonelli

New band members as well as returners all feast together before the first day of Band Camp.
Photo Credit: James Simonelli

Ryan, Mark, and Malu welcome new students to Sproul Hall. Photo Credit: Justin Sun

Ryan, Mark, and Malu welcome new students to Sproul Hall.
Photo Credit: Justin Sun

Basketball Trips

Many brothers and sisters got the opportunity to travel with the UCLA men’s and women’s basketball teams to the PAC-12 championship games and the opening rounds of the NCAA tournament. They flew up to Seattle for the women’s championship and bused out to Las Vegas for the men’s championship. When both teams advanced to the NCAA 64, groups flew to Austin, Texas, and Columbus, Ohio. Although it’s always stressful to miss school (especially since the trips were all right before or during final exams), everyone enjoyed traveling to cool locations, supporting our teams, and getting small manila envelopes full of per diem. Congratulations to the UCLA basketball teams and thanks for the trips!