Dun dunna nun dunna nun, Go Yotes! Dun dunna nun dunna nun, Go Yotes!
A mighty roar from the 5,000-plus fans inside Simplot Stadium echoed over the field as The College of Idaho marching band concluded playing the fight song. Each band member proudly wore a purple t-shirt which read “C of I Marching Band - Year One Founding Member.”
For the first time, the newly formed marching band showcased its musical talents as the C of I football team opened the 2016 season on Sept. 3. Just like the football players, the Marching Yotes finally took the field after weeks of preparation.
“It was so much fun [performing],” said base drummer Rodrigo Coronell, a junior from Ecuador. “It’s the first time I’ve ever done it, because I’ve never been in marching band. It’s exciting to see all the people in the stands.”
“And them cheering for us,” said flutist Lorena Rebon, a fellow international student from Spain. “We finally get to feel what the football players feel and it’s really cool.”
Earlier in the day, the band paraded through rows of the tailgate parking lot, where Yote fans were grilling Italian sausages, chatting and playing games of corn hole. The band then lead the YoteFam over to Simplot Stadium before kickoff. C of I alum Joe Masar ’91 joined in the purple parade that traversed Blaine Street and Caldwell Boulevard as traffic came to a standstill.
“It’s kind of a fun tradition that’s evolved over the last three years,” said Masar, who’s been coming out to C of I football games since the team was reinstated in 2014. “You can definitely notice the difference with the bigger band.”
And Masar wasn’t the only one who took note of the amplified sound.
“Having our band look so neat and formal, with a few weeks of training, and a larger group of cheerleaders—we look pretty wonderful and exciting,” said C of I President Charlotte Borst. “It only adds to the spirit of the YoteFam.”
At halftime, the Marching Yotes took the field once more, as the crowd watched them heel-toe across the field. As Dr. Luke Strother stood atop a ladder and directed the band, he was impressed with his team’s first performance.
“Nobody seemed nervous, everything went just the way we practiced it,” Strother said. “I’m thrilled with how they played and how they marched. The crowd was responsive and they were excited. It was kind of weird how quiet it got when we started playing, but everyone was paying attention and everyone was listening.”
The marching band was first conceptualized to go along with the reinstatement of the football program and enhance the atmosphere during games. A small pep band performed for the first two years, and the new marching band became official last spring. Since then, Strother has worked hard to build the program from the ground up.
With a team of 20 students—coming from all different musical backgrounds and majors—Strother hopes to grow the band to 60 players over the next few years. And for the current band members, it’s exciting to be part of the start of something new—as noted on their t-shirts.
“It’s such an honor [to be part of the first year],” Rebon said. “And now, we have eight flutes instead of three, and we hope to keep growing.”
Catch the Marching Yotes in action during the next home football game on Sept. 24. Students interested in joining the marching band are encouraged to contact Dr. Strother at [email protected].
The College of Idaho has a 125-year-old legacy of excellence. The C of I is known for its outstanding academic programs, winning athletics tradition and history of producing successful graduates, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three governors, four NFL players and countless business leaders and innovators. Its distinctive PEAK Curriculum challenges students to attain competency in the four knowledge peaks of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field—empowering them to earn a major and three minors in four years. The College’s close-knit, residential campus is located in Caldwell, where its proximity both to Boise and to the world-class outdoor activities of southwest Idaho’s mountains and rivers offers unique opportunities for learning beyond the classroom. For more information, visit www.collegeofidaho.edu.