In the fall 2019 season, Blue Band at Penn State boasted seven graduates from Bellefonte Area High School. They are Noah Gaus, Lizzie Giacobe, Stephen Giacobe, Zack Mothersbaugh, Lissi Pryzbys, Gehrig Schuster and Brandon Snook. With more than 300 members, the marching band is the largest recognized student organization at the university’s main campus.
According to the Blue Band website, the Penn State Athletic Bands program “provides resources and opportunities through music education to support student learning, artistic expression and leadership development for student success at Penn State and beyond.” The program also includes academic and music ensembles within the College of Arts and Architecture, which provides service to the university and athletic department, with a commitment to the development of student musicians.
Led by marching band Director Gregory Drane since 2015, the band is most known for supporting the Nittany Lions football team during games, and its epic halftime shows.
Lizzie Giacobe, Class of 2019
"Being a part of the band at Penn State means the world to me. Band has always been a second home to me with a second family and that is no different at Penn State. There may be more people, but they are now more than 300 of my closest friends. It is such a honor to keep the Blue Band legacy going with my new Blue Band family. Game day by far is the best part about Blue Band. The rush that I got coming onto the field from the tunnel during my first pregame is unlike any other feeling I’ve experienced. There are so many game day traditions scattered through the Blue Band that I am still learning about. I will never forget my game day experiences with the Blue Band. Being in the band is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I will cherish every minute of."
Zack Mothersbaugh, Class of 2016
“Being in the Blue Band was the main reason that I went to Penn State. It means so much to me to be able to play and create friendships with so many amazing musicians who are really such a great group of people to be around. Being in the Blue Band has been one of the best experiences of my life. One of the best parts of being in the Blue Band is coming out of the tunnel on game days. There is no experience like that. I have also loved seeing the look on kids’ faces when I give them a high five or even acknowledge them, because I remember being that excited to see a member of the Blue Band up close.”
Lissi Przybys, Class of 2019
"I've wanted to be a Penn State majorette sine I was 7 years old. I imagined myself marching downfield, and worked as hard as I could to be a part of this legacy. The best part of being in Blue Band is being a part of something bigger than myself. Having sisters from not just my current team, but also all the alumni, is a feeling that can't quite be explained."
Brandon Snook, Class of 2019
Snare in drumline
“It means everything for me to be a part of the Blue Band. It has been a dream of mine to be in the Blue Band since I was a little kid. I had started watching the band at PSU football games and when I started playing percussion in fourth grade, I knew I wanted to be a part of that when I got older. There are too many amazing parts of Blue Band to be the best, but playing with the band in front of over 100,000 people is a feeling that is out of this world and no one will understand that feeling until you're there experiencing the moment.”
Gehrig Schuster, Class of 2016
"It means I am part of something bigger than myself. It is a really special and unique experience to be able to perform with 300-plus other students. Marching out of the tunnel in front of 110,000 fans (is the best part of being in the band)."