With 280 members, this year's Panther Marching Band is the largest in UNI history. In fact, the band has more than doubled in size since 2007 when director Danny Galyen took over the program. Galyen attributes his success to redoubling the band's recruiting efforts in Iowa's smaller, rural communities.
"When students leave their hometown and come to college for the first time, they leave the social support system they've had their whole life," Galyen said. "They need a social support group to help them be successful, and the band is that group."
Unlike at Iowa or Iowa State, UNI Marching Band members don't have to audition or be music majors. This allows a broader group of musicians a chance to continue playing an instrument after high school. Students say they're also attracted by the modern music Galyen chooses, including Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars and Macklemore.
"A lot of other bands play simple stuff that's easy to memorize, but we pick challenging literature and get it on the field. It's pretty incredible," said Joshua Carlo, a freshman tenor saxophone player from Cedar Falls. (Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier)
This year's Panther Marching Band includes one half of three sets of twins. In all three families, the other twin plays for the Iowa State Marching Band!