If you’d like to get more involved in the upcoming candidate process for our next class of candidates, here are some ways you can!
This is also a good time to mark those degree dates in you calendar if you haven’t done so yet!! If you forgot, those are:
First Degree: Saturday, January 18 (Time TBA)
Second Degree: Saturday, February 22 (Time TBA)
Third Degree: Saturday, April 11 (Time TBA)
Keep an eye out for emails with more information about degrees and events for this quarter! And as always, if you have any thoughts, comments, or suggestions about the Encore, events, or anything else, please shoot me an email at email@example.com. We love to hear from you!
Thanks for reading everyone, I’m looking forward to seeing you all soon!
Volume XV - Issue I - Fall 2019
Happy holidays everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to the New Year. This quarter was a busy and exciting one for the UCLA Marching Band and the Psi Chapter. We welcomed our new Interim Band Director, Prof. Kevin McKeown, who led us through a season full of fun, hard work, and Muse. We traveled to Arizona and USC to support our Bruin football team, and our seniors said goodbye to marching at the end of our last game during the annual senior circle. The season culminated in the 2019 Band Banquet, which was full of laughter, memories, and bittersweet farewells.
Throughout the season, the Psi chapter held events to help recruit our next class of candidates. And on that note, please remember to mark this year's Degree dates in your calendar! They are:
First Degree: Saturday, January 18
Second Degree: Saturday, February 22
Third Degree: Saturday, April 11
Call times (and times for Degree Receptions!) will be out as soon as I get them from the EC. We would love to have as many of you at our Degrees as possible to welcome our next class of candidates!
This coming quarter will be another busy one, as we prepare for our recruitment season to get in full swing starting next week. My committee and I are working on planning events for the coming months (as well as a special project we're excited to show you all at Third Degree!) so keep an eye on your emails as our quarter starts in the next few weeks. Thank you all for your enthusiasm and support of our chapter, and I hope you enjoy reading this edition of the Encore!
See you all in 2020!
Haley Breland, BY
Alumni Relations Officer, 2018-2020
By Gabriel Ramirez, BX
This season, returners had a chance to go to Tucson to cheer on our football team at their away game against the University of Arizona. A fifty-piece band left bright and early at 9 A.M. on Friday, September 27th - the first Friday of Week Zero.
Since this away game was so early on in the quarter, a lot of returners - myself included - felt really secure about this trip not interfering too much with our academics. Personally, I still went to my 8 A.M. math lecture and then speedwalked to the bus. I’m glad I went to that lecture, too, because my professor actually started teaching content that day.
Anyway, that day’s bus travel was full of laughter, shenanigans, and good food. A group of BOOT celebrated an early Christmas - a very early Christmas - by splitting a Chicken Family Meal at Popeye’s on the way over.
To make things even better, the first Armoury opening had just occurred at that point, and a good number of the returners on the trip all wore their brand-new complete track suits. These stylish jackets and exercise pants caught the eyes of the whole band at the annual Fashion Show at Band Camp, and made them hot commodities from the Armoury. I wore the complete track suit as well as this year’s brand-new blue and gold sneakers, all while sporting the new blue and gold UCLA Marching Band backpack. Needless to say, the Bruin pride was strong on this trip.
Upon our arrival at Tucson’s Marriott Courtyard, BOOT split off from the rest of the band to have dinner at a nearby Black Bear Diner. Since all the BOOT boys on the trip were sporting the new tracksuits, we decided to take a Slav Squad Squat pic just outside. Trust me, our smolders in that picture are killer.
After dinner, BOOT returned to the hotel to settle into our cozy little rooms; we had a lot of free time to take advantage of the next day.
Our call time on Saturday was 7:30 in the evening. Which means we got to relax and wander around all day!
A small group of BOOT ate breakfast and spent a couple of hours at a nearby Barnes & Noble. Afterward, we united with the rest of Tucson BOOT to go to Uber to an authentic Mexican restaurant, El Charro. They had infinite nachos, and their enchiladas were so. Good. BOOT ate well in their outdoor covered seating, enjoying the dry climate.
After El Charro, the highlight of the trip happened: The Screamery. The Screamery is an organic, handcrafted ice cream chain, and it is delicious. The ladies behind the counter were so nice and friendly, and they let us sample basically all of their flavors before we made any decisions. BOOT ultimately came together and settled on ordering one thing: The Farmhouse. The Farmhouse, as to put it simply, as a hecking ton of sugar. Its contents included eight huge scoops of ice cream sitting atop either a warm cookie, brownie, or slice of buttercake. The Farmhouse also came with unlimited toppings, so BOOT got so much whipped cream, chocolate syrup, and sprinkles on the ice cream. BOOT took over an entire table in the corner of the restaurant, barely fitting all eight of us around the table. We had so much fun talking, laughing, and eating up all the quality ice cream. The flavors ranged from Sweet Cream Honeycomb to Butter Pecan, but they were all amazing. The cookie/brownie/buttercake bottom really filled you up on sugar, as well. The Screamery also had some really nice shirts for sale, and a few of us got some on our way out!
The game itself was a bit upsetting because of the ref’s calls, and we lost by only 3 points. Go Bruins!
By Omer Lavian, BY
On the eve of Sunday, November 17, an event occurred that had the potential to change a Bruin's life! Psi brothers and EK sisters got the chance to hear about the various career paths being pursued by alumni and use those conversations as tools for their own career journeys. This event was, of course, Joint Networking Night.
The Psi Chapter's Alumni Relations Officer, Haley Breland, made some wonderful cookies to enhance the event. To her surprise, the group that had just been in the room used for this event left the remains of an ENORMOUS spread of food that they had prepared for their event and let PsiEK finish it! Attendees of Joint Networking Night thus had access to a variety of treats ranging from a nutritious veggie platter to a scrumptious pumpkin pie to some refreshing lemonade!
Once the event got rolling, Psi alum Sukhi Bassi told those in attendance about how he is currently in graduate school to become a school counselor. Amazingly, when talking to Psi brother Omer Lavian at one point during the event, he demonstrated one of the techniques he learned during his counseling training. This demonstration gave event attendees a sense of the type of work Sukhi is trying to do in the future.
EK alum Emily Tsai also talked to the group at the event about her career path. Emily is currently attending law school at UC Irvine. At Joint Networking Night, she gave attendees insight regarding the types of questions one would expect to find on the LSAT and the skills that make up a successful lawyer. She also gave those in attendance a sense of the daily life of a law school student. Anyone who listened to Emily speak that night was able to get some sense of whether or not becoming a lawyer was for them.
In conclusion, Joint Networking Night was a great success this year because it benefitted both active members of Psi and EK as well as alumni of those organizations. Actives got the chance to hear about multiple career paths and see if any of them appealed to them, while alumni got the chance to reconnect with Psi and EK after having already graduated. Such events show that Brotherhood and Sisterhood persist throughout one's life, even after graduating from UCLA. It is no wonder, then, that Psi brothers sing, "If I must die, I am a Brother of K K Psi," that EK sisters sing, "From this day until my rest, with my sisters I am best," and that when the two organizations come together, all those present sing that they are "in the Bond forever."
By Ivy Kwok, BX
On December 2nd, the band traded their uniforms for beautiful dresses and fancy suits at the annual gathering in Pauley Pavilion Clubhouse for Band Banquet 2019!
The event, hosted by Directors of Band Activities Sara Acosta (Psi) & Melissa Perrin (EK) and emceed by actives Ivy Kwok (Psi) and Blanca Arriaga (EK), was a huge success! The evening started off with cheerful mingling, candid photoshoots (complete with the Snapchat geofilter!), and the final stretches of the annual Penny Wars charity fundraiser. Bus #2 proved to be victorious in the friendly competition, and they started everyone off in the line for delicious salad, pasta, and signature garlic knots catered from C&O. The flutes had a victory of their own as well, and their selfless charity food drive efforts were rewarded with dessert at banquet — Diddy Riese cookies!
After dinner, each section’s leaders went up to present their section awards, which spanned the entire creativity spectrum, from sweet and inspirational to hilarious and wild. Soon after, Assistant Director Paul Addleman shared a few words about the successful progress of the band’s Spark campaign, gave recognition to the hard workers behind it, and gave a special shoutout to Tabetha van Heest for her incredible dedication this season as the new Band Assistant.
Next, it was the drum majors’ turn to speak, and they took turns presenting the Freshman of the Year awards, as well as speaking on behalf of Interim Director of Athletic Bands Kevin McKeown, who was not able to attend banquet but wanted to express his infinite gratitude for the entire band for making his first season so wonderfully terrific.
The heartwarming sentiments were interrupted with some comic relief in the form of a kazoo rendition of “Mo Bamba”, one of the band’s newest stand tunes that was requested by a member of the football team earlier in the season. Shortly after, the heartfelt emotions resumed as the senior slideshow played on the screen, as the seniors collected their mason jars of handwritten notes, as the season’s shows were projected, as band banquet helpers were honored, and as everyone wrapped up the night with endless fun pictures and bittersweet farewells!
A few of the pictures taken at the event! Left, a group of bandsmembers posing with matching stuffed animals. Right, a large group of flute players in their signature section pose!
By Erica Vellanowth, BΦ
Hey everyone! Here’s a glimpse into your one of your fave lines in Effleurage/Petrissage:
One of the reasons Petrissage is so HUGE is due to Derek Wun (BΞ), my great-great-grandbig, picking up THREE littles in his time in chapter. His last little, Annemarie Duckworth (BΣ) was the first in our ethnically ambiguous line. Yes, “ethnically ambiguous line” is my unofficial name for it and I didn’t get any official permission to call it that. Here’s a snapshot into our fam, starting with Annemarie’s little:
Jacob Hambalek (BT): recent alum/current masters student/drumline/past drum major/was once a TA this season
Jacob graduated earlier this Spring but for some reason I still see him around campus. I think he’s getting his Master’s or something. He was also a fire extinguisher for the Patriotic Show this year and I marched a dot pretty close to him so that was cool.
Chart: Sun in Pisces, Moon in Aquarius, Leo Rising
Fun Fact: Not a fun fact but follow him on Spotify he has a playlist called “Songs Titled With People’s Names” and turns out they’re all bops.
Casey Armstrong (BY): fourth year/u crew co-head/sergeant-at-arms/trumpet
I hear she takes classes part-time at $C, and goes by the name “Beckandra Armstrong”. Likes to read books. Starter pack includes: dark grey joggers, under armour, boba, Feast the dining hall, and getting trapped in conversations with her that last 3x as long as they were planned to.
Chart: Sun in Pisces, Moon in Sagittarius, Virgo Rising
Fun Fact: Likes to play sports but adamantly calls herself unathletic.
Erica Vellanoweth (BΦ): contrary to popular belief plays the alto sax
Not a Pisces.
Really just happy to be here
Chart: Sun in Libra, Moon in Scorpio, Libra Rising
Fun Fact: Got in trouble for bringing an American Girl doll catalogue to school once
Evelyn Coffey (BX): second year/BOOT/she cru/meme connoisseur
Made She-Cru history by being the first penski gurl. Is very talented at theatre!!! along with music, the token artist of our family. All about that BASSoon. Along with being a connoisseur of memes, a connoisseur of jumpsuits.
Chart: Sun in Pisces, Moon in Virgo, Aries Rising
Fun Fact: Is a meme page admin.
By Matthew Espinoza, BX
Originally from Belfast, Kevin immigrated to Santa Monica, California when he was 7 years old. Kevin attended Grant Elementary, John Adams Junior High, and Santa Monica High School (SAMOHI (go vikings)). Growing up and living within a 10 mile radius of the #1 Public University, he always knew he wanted to attend UCLA. Kevin studied at Santa Monica College (SMC) before transferring to UCLA.
At UCLA, he was a four year Drum Major for the Bruin Marching Band. He played Clarinet, Tenor Sax, and Trombone all in the marching band! Besides never losing to U$C (until now), one of his favorite memories in the band is traveling to Austin to take on the Texas in 1997. This was the year the Bruins desecrated the Longhorns 66-3! Kevin is a proud brother of Kappa Kappa Psi and here’s what he had to say! “KKY was super important to me when I transferred. The feeling of inclusion within a brotherhood of fellow band (nerds) was something that I look back fondly on. I remember the building of the first GH tower as a labor of love and a lot of great socials. The connection of KKY and TBS (which was divided by gender then) made for a deeper closeness of friends that are still connected today even in our busy lives. And yes, we had punch and cookies at the Wind Ensemble concerts...yum!”
Kevin earned his Bachelors, Masters, and taught 2 years of middle school before completing 2 years of Doctorate work at UCLA. After his doctorate work Kevin was chosen to direct the SMC Wind Ensemble, an ensemble that many alumni brothers are a part of! From ‘03-‘12 he taught elementary Clarinet and Trombone. That is where I met Kevin, he started me on trombone…...in fourth grade! In 2008 he started conducting the UC Irvine Wind Ensemble. In 2012, he was offered the Band Director position at Santa Monica High School. Kevin currently teaches at 4 different schools! He is a very passionate and accomplished member of the music world. He strives to share his love for music with his students and hopefully inspire them to educate in the future.
By Kevin Reidy, BX
Fall 2019 has brought the band not only another massively successful marching season, but also an enthusiastic spirit of involvement among band members interested in joining the Psi and EK Chapters in the new year.
Recruitment events scattered throughout fall quarter have brought the band community closer together and helped gauge and garner interest in Psi and EK membership. Many prospective members have taken these opportunities to familiarize themselves with one another, with Brothers and Sisters, and with each organization.
The first recruitment event of the year saw dozens of prospective Brothers and Sisters packed into a classroom in Schoenberg Music Building to learn about the organizations in our Joint Info Session. Several student officers spoke about their goals. Brothers-to-be began their Road to Wisdom early through dialogue about Kappa Kappa Psi’s history and purpose. And of course, Diddy Riese cookies topped off an evening of fun and learning.
Up next was another joint recruitment event: PsiEK “Speed Dating.” On Halloween night, band members (some in costume, others not) gathered in concentric circles and rotated in merry-go-round fashion, answering questions ranging from “What’s your strangest talent?” to “Why are you interested in joining Psi or EK?” Brothers were able to learn more about prospective members; the latter got to learn more about Brotherhood, Sisterhood, and the Brothers and Sisters that comprise each.
As the mid-November leaves changed color in Sunset Canyon Recreation Center, the Psi Chapter hosted its annual Day in the Park for the band. Attendees fixed up delicious tacos from homemade ingredients, played “Band BINGO” out of each other’s personal fun facts, and sang songs as the sun sank in the sky.
Several Psi Brothers enjoyed supporting TBS-EK at their annual Spaghetti Dinner for the band, complete with icebreaker games and conversations about what Sisterhood means to the organization.
PsiEK finished up recruitment events with Joint Game Night in Hedrick Hall. Despite the rapid approach of final papers and exams, PsiEK and its prospective candidates were able to leave that behind for a relaxing evening of board- and video-games with their fellow bandmates. In a kind of game potluck, attendees played games of Bananagrams, Avalon, Uno, and MarioKart provided by Brothers and Sisters, all the while laughing and enjoying each other’s company.
The recruitment events of this fall have been tremendously fun for those involved and have assured Brothers and Sisters that the Beta Psi and Alpha Omega Classes of the Psi and EK Chapters respectively will be joined by outstanding individuals who will improve their chapters and the Band community with their involvement.
By Sara Acosta, BΦ
Sunday Morning Drumline and Guard Breakfast
Drumline and guard luckily got to start band camp a day before everyone else! Brothers and sisters welcomed the sleepy-eyed drummers, twirlers, and flag-bearers outside of Schoenberg Music Building. Drumline and guard members were obviously ecstatic to end their summer break, and did breakfast the right way (minus the Wheaties) with a hearty meal of orange juice, Costco Muffins, and clementines. After breakfast, drumline and guard headed off to practice, and the remaining muffins were given to E-cru as a peace-offering before their fall quarter was consumed by the Penske truck and the Trojan horse.
Saturday Evening Pizza Party
The night before band camp, the sunken gardens were taken over by the Solid Gold Sound of the UCLA Marching Band. The band members enjoyed Costco pizza and sugary soda. The scene was a beautiful one: freshmen were barraged with questions about their majors and life stories, returning members hugged their friends, brothers, and sisters after a long summer apart, and sections played awkward icebreakers like human knot and big booty. Everyone ate, drank, and was merry because they knew the next day would be filled with basics block, music run-throughs, and the run-on.
Diddy Riese Run
The already-exhausted band met at the fabled De Neve Crosswalk on Tuesday night to walk down to Westwood’s beloved Diddy Riese. Upperclassmen tried to learn as many freshmen names and majors as they could while eating cheap but delicious ice cream sandwiches. Everyone (at least, the sane bandmembers) tried to turn in early in preparation for the 9 AM call-time. The insane bandmembers heavily considered seeing a late-night movie together at the Bruin Theater before calling it a night.
Hail Learning/Hemming Party
On Thursday night after evening block, bandmembers met in the Schoenberg band room. Their goal was two-fold: learn the four-part harmony of Hail to the Hills of Westwood and hem the trailing pantlegs of their uniforms. After a couple of hours, these goals were accomplished! The event got even more exciting after two brothers, Garrett Henkle and Kevin Reidy, started playing “Senorita” by Shawn Mendes and Camilla Cabello on the piano. The band sang together and relaxed after a long Thursday full of rehearsal.
Ice Cream Social
On Tuesday night, one of the last nights of band camp, band members met at the tables outside of Café 1919 to eat ice cream and be social. Brothers and sisters served band members vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream with caramel and fudge toppings. After dessert, band members played a huge game of rock, paper, scissors and then sat down to play more icebreakers. The event was great way to close out a great band camp!
Volume XIV - Issue III - Spring 2019
I hope you've had a great start to the summer and are avoiding the heat so far! This quarter was a great one for Psi, full of both fun and productive events. We integrated our newest actives from Beta Chi into chapter, held fundraisers like our Boba and Dim Sum sale, participated in another successful Wind Ensemble Invitational service event, and made lasting memories at 2019's Beach House weekend. We also put on the digital Networking Interview event this quarter, which went very well! Thank you to everyone who participated and met with an active, they all enjoyed meeting you and appreciated your advice and experience!
We closed the year by saying goodbye to our graduating senior class of 2019, a group of wonderful and talented brothers. While they will be missed, we look forward to seeing what great things they will accomplish as they move beyond their time at UCLA. Read more about them in our Senior Spotlights article and help welcome them into the alumni community!
This quarter has also been an important one for our chapter and the band as a whole as we prepare for the coming fall. On that note, I have two important announcements for all of you! First, at the end of the Spring we installed a talented and highly capable new Officer Board! They are:
President: Daniel Fernandez, BY
Vice President of Membership: Erica Vellanoweth, BΦ
Sergeant-at-Arms: Casey Armstrong, BY
Director of Service: Christiana Gutierrez, BΦ
Director of Music: Emma Boone, BΦ
Treasurer: Brandon Free, BΦ
Brotherhood Relations Officer: Garrett Henkle, BΦ
Director of Brotherhood/Sisterhood Relations: Ryan Lee, BX
Secretary: Ivy Kwok, BX
Alumni Relations Officer: Haley Nelson, BY
Historian: Matthew Espinoza, BX
Webmaster: Eric Wong, BΦ
Secondly, as some of you may already know, Prof. Gordon Henderson will be retiring effective October 2020, following two quarters of sabbatical leave in fall and winter of next year. This meant that the band was in need of a director for our upcoming fall season. After an extensive search, the Department of Music has announced that Prof. Kevin McKeown will be taking over as interim band director for next season! He is currently the Director of Bands at Santa Monica High School, but is a former Bruin who we're looking forward to welcoming back to Westwood this fall! If you would like to reach out to him with any questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions (or congratulations!) he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you, and I hope you enjoy reading through this edition of the Encore! I'm looking forward to continuing to work with you all as ARO and wish you all a fantastic summer!
Haley Nelson, BY
Alumni Relations Officer, 2018-2020