History of the Pep Band

Including an archive of tales gathered along the WAR PATH

The Clarkson University Pep Band was founded in the fall of 1964, by a small group of Clarkson students. Nearly twenty years later, in the 1980's, the band's membership and reputation grew by leaps and bounds. The 1986-1987 ECAC hockey season proved to be the first great season for the band. The ECAC recognized the band with a special award as the best ECAC collegiate pep band in existence. Over the last eleven years we have worked hard to keep up the recognition as the best band in the ECAC.

Our efforts have resulted in many victories on the road as well as an amazing record during the play-offs. The Clarkson Hockey Team has made it to the ECAC final four every season du ring this decade and have also made several NCAA appearances including a final four appearance in the 1991-1992 season. Every year the hockey team makes the post season, the band is sure to follow.

The band travels with 35-40 members, with the one exception of St. Lawrence who has placed a restriction on the number of members to 25 because they love us so much. The band has approximately 75 full-time members, who shake the glass in our home, Cheel Arena, at every home game. A comment heard more than once when leaving Cheel Arena is about the fine quality of the band. We pride ourselves on the reputation as the best collegiate hockey band in the east and will continue to uphold this reputation while supporting the Golden Knights wherever they may travel.

Articles about the Band:
New Pep Band Being Organized
First Appearance
Hail to the Pep Band
At Gutterson (UVM)
Clarkson vs. RPI '04-'05~Part 1
Clarkson vs. RPI '04-'05~Part 2

Tales from the WARPATH:
Jim Buttolph '82
UVM Cowbell Story (1/18/1997)
Final Four at Lake State ('91-'92)
The Band Visits SLU vs. Brown ('06)
There is much history recorded in the stories which have been compiled here. The origins of some of the many great traditions we take for granted today are stated within. I urge you to take the time to read through them. For those who are current Band members, a newfound pride in our organization will arise - I assure you!

New Pep Band Being Organized
There is a new interest on campus: that of organizing a new and better pep band for athletic functions and rallies. The need for a good pep band has been noticed by many, including President Whitson, who promises aid to the band providing a workable scheme is set up. Things to be considered include new instruments, uniforms, music, and subsidized trips.

The new pep band will be an organized college activity if approved by the Student Council. It will also be larger than the existing one and of higher quality.

The band will offer several attractive features to its prospective members. There will be free admission and reserved seats for band members and their dates, free trips to important games and tournaments as well as the added prestige of belonging to a special group.

There is already an enthusiastic group of students who are willing to work hard for a good band. They feel a good band will be a good representative to other colleges as well as help to increase school spirit at games. Work has already begun and the new, improved pep band is promised by the fall of 1964.
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Pep Band Added To Hockey Scene; First Appearance Will Be Nov. 18
by Jim Tanner
The first hockey game is Nov. 18 against Montagnards, and this year there will be a new addition to the familiar scene at the hockey arena. A 25 man pep band will be seated in a special section to help cheer the team on. The pep band organized this year, will be dressed in green blazers and straw skimmers.

The band will be playing at all home hockey games. They are also going to make the trip to the ECAC Christmas hockey tournament and to the Colgate game in Syracuse. The band is also hoping to go to the NCAA tournament in Boston.

Most of the instruments used by the pep band are the members' own. However, two drums, a baritone, and a tuba had to be purchased. They will be playing a lot of new marches; also pep and fight songs, swing or rock and roll will be featured.

Timothy Donahue was instrumental in founding the Pep Band and is the director of it. There will also be a student director soon. The Pep Band was organized by Bill Rutherford, Tom Tasillo, Steve Tockey, and Lenny Wyss. The band has been practicing once a week for the past four weeks.
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True School Dedication: Hail to the Pep Band
Brian Farenell, Opinion Editor; Clarkson Integrator ; Monday, April 20, 1992
What is Clarkson hockey? Is it simply the players on the ice and the coaches behind the bench or is it something more? It is an atmosphere, hockey at the highest level of excitement more often than not. The players change every year, but one thing remains constant, the deafening noise that comes from the student section. No one contributes to that enthusiasm more than the Clarkson Pep Band.

Now, it is taken for granted that the band will be at every home game, but try to imagine what the Cheel Arena would sound like without the musicians in the green and gold rugby shirts. There would be no "sieve" chant. There would be no loud but polite critiques of the officiating. There would be no one to organize a method to the student sections' madness. There would be no one to play theme music such as "Jailhouse Rock" to make players like Mike Lappin feel at home.

CLARKSON COACH MARK MORRIS HAS SAID THAT THE PEP BAND IS WORTH A GOAL PER GAME. Nowhere was this more true than in this year's home game against Vermont. The Catamounts had pulled goalie Christian Soucy and had the puck in Clarkson's defensive zone. A Knight had gotten control of the puck and was skating with his head down not realizing the unoccupied net at the other end. The Pep band started chanting "empty net" and shortly thereafter, the player had fired the puck into the unoccupied goal.

Let's face it, there is a tremendous amount of dedication shown by band members. Most fans can leave early in the game if it is lopsided. The band members have an obligation to stay throughout the whole game, no matter how painful it might be. Most fans can cheer and scream when the Knights score. The band has to play their songs. They spend a few hours every week practicing while they COULD be doing something else. I speak from experience in saying that practicing is not the most exciting thing in the world to do.

The dedication is most exemplified when the band attends road games. Imagine, a group of twenty-five Clarkson band members going into the red and white bowels of Appleton Arena in St. Lawrence or Cornell's Lynah rink. Are they mad? No, just exceptionally committed to supporting their team. I'll bet that the players get some adrenaline flowing when they hear a group, albeit small, blowing their lungs out. They realize that these band members are risking life and limb going into some of the road arenas and I'm sure the players appreciate their appearance.

During last year's NCAA regionals, the band traveled to Lake Superior St. (in Northern Michigan), a twelve hour drive, for that weekend's games. They came back to Potsdam for a day or two and then embarked on a twenty-four hour journey to St. Paul, Minnesota. If this is not dedication, I don't know what is.

Rooting for a sports team is a precarious mixture where both agony and ecstasy co-exist. For every game winning goal in overtime, there is this year's ECAC semifinal against Cornell. The team loses a heartbreaker in double-overtime, but the band still musters the energy (after an eight hour trip and a three and a half hour game) to play their song. For every win at Lake Superior St. there is a loss in the Final Four to Boston University. The pep band has become an integral part of Clarkson Hockey and its mystique.

No professional game can match the excitement of a college hockey match-up. I believe that the raucous atmosphere is a major part of that aura. Considering what the pep band contributes to that atmosphere, they get very little recognition or appreciation from Clarkson students. Most ECAC fans believe that Clarkson has one of the most profound home ice advantages in the league; this is due in no small part to the pep band, which, in turn, fires up the entire student section. The pep band should be commended for their dedication, spirit and enthusiasm.
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Hey Gutterson, turn down the noise: Loud visiting bands are an enormous annoyance for home crowds
To the Editor:
Those Cynic readers who attended the Clarkson - UVM hockey game, played at the Gutterson rink on Saturday November 15, should long remember the six to zip shellacking not for the fine play of the Clarkson defense, but for the devastating play of the Clarkson band. Yes, the band.

Those of us who were unfortunate enough to have season tickets situated directly across from the visiting band section suffered through three periods (and then some) of non-stop hullabaloo. This entertainment took the form of some terrific brass band numbers (they played one of my favorites - "Theme from the Muppet Show") which were inter-mixed with continuous chanting and taunting in unison ("It's all your fault," sung to goalie Tom Draper, "Na, na, na, na, good bye" crooned good bye to the early departing Vermont crowd).

Clarkson's 14 trumpet and nine trombone brass section coupled with three drummers and a host of woodwinds dominated Gutterson, completely blowing away the feeble attempts of the UVM fans to get something (read:anything) going. The game simply reflected what was happening in the stands. Which brings me to the point of this letter - something has to be done to prevent another band from doing this again.

I have a few suggestions:
a. Sell out the entire visitor section to UVM fans and let the opposing fans and band watch the game via closed circuit TV in the indoor track. This would be very convenient for them to buy their snacks. They could smoke there too.

b. Line the visiting band section with acoustical tiles to soak up the noise.

c. Encase the entire visitor's section in Plexiglas (for their own safety and protection, of course).

d. Issue compressed air horns to each UVM fan with written instructions which read, "sound off whenever a visiting band member moves."

Or maybe we should fight fire with fire:
a. Recruit brass players for the UVM pep band, followed by percussionists, more drums and new music. Maybe we could convince the Friends of UVM Hockey to establish a scholarship fund for pep band members, and then we could even entice some of the Clarkson brass or percussion section to transfer to UVM. (Have you ever been to Potsdam...?)

b. Move the UVM pep band. I don't know why, but they just don't carry at all from that corner of Gutterson. Maybe we should have them switch places with the visitor's band - the Clarkson band carried everywhere..

c. Amplify the UVM pep band. Let's face it, woodwinds weren't meant to go head-to-head with brass. Let's make it a fair match.

Well, those are some of my ideas. I'm sure Cynic readers have many ideas on the subject, and I would encourage you to use these pages as a forum for discussion of this problem.

Remember, RPI usually brings their band. And they play "Jaws" when their team goes on the power play.

A dedicated fan, T.F. Patterson
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A Story sent to us from from Jim Buttolph '82 documenting the beginning of two very important Pep Band Traditions
1982 was the first year that we elected a separate president from the director (they used to be one in the same). This was sort of my idea, and I sold it based on the notion that to do both was simply too much work for one person with all of the other responsibilities of being a student. Reflecting back, perhaps the truth is that I wanted to be the director but wasn't particularly interested in doing the interface with the College and so forth. I had spent 2 years traveling with the Clyde Beatty Cole Brothers Circus playing trumpet in the circus band before going back to school at Clarkson. Before the circus, I was a music major at Ithaca College. We started having the band do things like tune up, have rehearsals (at least until the season started), and generally tried not to be a laughing stock. I spent a bunch of time transposing some cheers, and last time I was at Clarkson maybe 6-7 years ago the band was still playing some of them (they were on green manuscript - hmmm... "Caravan" was one of them, and so was the "Theme from the Wide World of Sports"... probably long gone now, I suppose). Also, this was when we started phasing out a theme song called "Lemon Peel Twist" for a new theme - "Blues Brothers" . We just decided to do it, and did...didn't ask permission or anything, just one day we decided, and -poof - out with "Lemon Peel Twist", in with "Blues Brothers". As I remember, we started doing it at the beginning of the third period and nobody said anything.

Also, we used to have some extrovert in the audience who would come to the games with more clothes on than most, and he would stand up and start taking them off when we played that tune ( The Stripper). That brings to mind the most embarrassing moment I ever had as director. Typically between the 2nd and 3rd periods the announcer would ask everyone to rise while the band played the Alma Mater. One time, I honestly didn't hear the announcement and just as everyone was standing up, we started"The Stripper". About half way through I remember noticing that everyone was standing, and I thought that was a bit odd, but it wasn't until the end when I realized what I'd done. Played the whole thing. I caught lots of shit for that one.

I remember another time when we went to the ECAC's at the Boston Garden. This was one of those character building times... we were ranked number 1 in the East, number 2 in the nation, heavily favored to win the thing, and in the first game we got beaten by Harvard 8-1. HARVARD!?!? We kicked their ass in the regular season. The band got some good press from it though. A student wrote a letter to the school paper praising how the band kept its cool under adverse circumstances, and the President of Clarkson (Robert A. Plane) wrote one the following week and said we had the best pep band in the east. The strange thing was, reflecting back I was anything but cool. When some yuppie preppy Harvard SOBs in sport coats (sport coats at a hockey game??) in the section above us started throwing things into our tubas I completely lost it. Flipped out. I can't remember loosing my temper that badly before or since. I had a whole section of them thrown out of the arena. Must be the student who wrote the letter had gone out to get a beer with the Pres during that little display. I guess in life timing is everything.

TO JIM: They still wear those damn jackets and ties at Harvard. We saw them in Lake Placid in 1993 and 1994. And as you can see, the addition of "Blues Brothers" was probably one of the most important moments in out history. Thanks for the story.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: They were wearing those blazers and ties in Placid in 1996 (and in 1998).

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How to Can the Catamounts
As many people know, Vermont has a very distinct cowbell cheer. It begins with a somewhat catchy, yet some what annoying rhythm beat out a few times on a cowbell, and ends with an arena full of "GO CATS GO!". For some reason those Catamounts can't get enough of that- Some of them stand up and dance a jig to the beat! Sometimes this cheer can spring up in opponents nightmares after a frustrating game. It is perhaps the first vision that comes to mind when someone mentions Vermont. Because it is so well known, we, the Pep Band, thought we should have a little fun.

In the middle of the game when Clarkson was up 1-0, and the Vermont fans had already run through the cowbell cheer several times, Tim, a drummer in the band, whips out his own cowbell. He began to tap out the UVM Cowbell cheer. At this point, each and every person in the crowd had turned their attention towards us, wondering why the heck the Clarkson Pep Band was playing their cheer. The cheer was cut off a few beats early, and in the middle of dead silence, several members of the band yelled out "YOU JUST SUCK!" It took a minute for the crowd to come out of shock. They were stunned by what we had just done. Their jaws dropped, their faces turned red. They began to rave madly. I must say, I've never seen a bigger bunch of irate hockey fans.

Tim and some friends had dinner in Burlington after Clarkson's 2-1 victory. Upon returning home through Potsdam that frigid night, they met up with a very frozen Dan Murphy and JF Houle, who had been celebrating their victory downtown and were looking for a ride back up to the hill campus. Dano was quoted as saying: "Who was that with the cowbell? That was awesome! They were so pissed off!"

Well, that's our job. Whatever gets the team going. We put ourselves in the line of fire for our Golden Knights.

Originally written by Todd Suydam '99 CU Pep Band Historian '96-'97
Modified by Tim Livingston '98 CU Pep Band Historian '97-'98

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The Lake State Trip that lead the band to the Final Four (1991-1992)
The 1991-1992 season was one of Clarkson's "Golden" seasons in the 1990's and after the hell that was the 1980s much remembered. This fateful season was Walker Arena's last stand. Clarkson's success in Boston that year winning the ECAC tournament Title against St. Lawrence (A victory still burning pride in the hearts of all Golden Knight fans) earned them the right to host the Wisconsin Badgers in the first game of the NCAA tournament in Walker Arena.

Back in the olden days, the preliminary rounds of the NCAA hockey tournament were played on home ice. The first two rounds of the NCAAs were a two out of three game series. Clarkson beat Wisconsin easily crowning Walker's last undefeated season (one tie to Cornell in a very unjust game due to some dick that we hope is dead)... From the depths of Walker, the Golden Knights and the Band journeyed 14 hours by bus to Sioux Saint Marie, Michigan, home of the defending national champions, Lake Superior State.

This trip seemed like a mission from the beginning. After what seemed like only a few hours (maybe 10 hours) to the happily "sober" pep band members, the bus skidded off the road. Duty bound, the band members exited the bus and pushed it back on to the highway. Exhilarated with their first victory of the trip, much joy and mirth was continuously shared until their arrival in Sioux St. Marie (with a few stops at the local Canadian beverage dealers, there was a lot of celebrating, and more still to come.)

Upon their arrival in Sioux Saint Marie, the band found the restaurant where the hockey parents were dining and serenaded them with their version of "We like it here". The restaurant owners came out and welcomed us. You see, everyone in Sioux Saint Marie follows Lake St. Ice Hockey. There is this huge lake, Lake Superior, a town, and a HUGE hockey rink in the middle of the town, where people go to pray and pay homage. The restaurant staff welcomed us and told us how sorry they were that we had to travel so far to lose to their team, and this was before we even played a game. The tone had been set.

Game 1: Clarkson came out early and won the game. The crowd was outraged. The stage had been set.

Game 2: Pre game, the arena director came to welcome the band and congratulated us on a miracle that would not be repeated, for you see he forbid us to play and even speak. He said that we had wasted our time even coming because if he even heard anything out of our section he turn up the amps and drown us out. Needless to say there was a somber tone that night and Lake St. stomped on our team.

Time to regroup: A meeting was held that night in the hotel. Strategies were discussed and it was time to vote. Everyone agreed that not playing was stupid, there was no way that the the arena staff could kick the band out and they were going to play no matter what. The vote was: should we yell "KNIGHT" during the national anthem or not. This had never been done outside of Walker, and never against a team other than Cornell who yells "RED" during the anthem. The vote would be majority rule, and if it passed everyone would yell. The vote passed by a slim margin.

Game 3: Pre game, as a prelude of what was to come, the band played "Blues Brothers" as the Golden Knights came out to warm up. Then after drawing the attention of everyone in the rink by openly defying the arena director, the band put down there horns, walked down to the glass, surrounded the end where Lake State was warming up and BEAT the glass and screamed for the entire 20 minutes warm up period destroying the concentration of all Lake St. goalies. Many hands and lungs were bleeding, but this was not the worst problem the band would have. The entire arena staff would spend the rest of the game barricading the band from the crowd, for you see the national anthem was yet to come....

The anthem: A woman sang the anthem that night, quite well too, he had only one mistake, he stopped singing after the band yelled "KNIGHT" ... A gasp was heard across the entire town of Sioux St. Marie Michigan. The crowd was enraged. Eighty-year-old grandmothers uttered words that can never be repeated in the presence of their grandchildren as their husbands wet their diapers with rage. Men, women and children had a taste for blood and it had the Clarkson Pep Band written all over it. As all this was happening, a row of hockey players wearing green and gold turned to face the Clarkson section, and all you could see were their smiles. Freshman Craig Conroy was quoted as saying that this act alone gave the team the drive they needed to go out there and win that game.

Game Time: If a band member had to use the bathroom, two arena staff members escorted them. Members of the Lake St. student body came to the Clarkson section with poorly made signs reading "Clarkson sucks" and "Go Home". Their signs were blocking the view of the hockey parents' section where former Clarkson player Mark Tretowiz, brother of Senior and former Olympian Dave Tretowiz, stood and said "put the signs down ". One sorry student, turned to him and said "make us". Mark stepped to the isle and said again, "put the sign down". The sorry student said again "make us". Mark walked down to this pathetic sole, towered over him, leaned down so their noses were practically touching, grabbed the student's sign and tore it in half and handed it back to the very sorry Lake State student. The entire crowd of sign carriers had left this kid with Mark standing there over him. A pathetic, " didn't have to rip my sign" was uttered just before he ran away with his tail between his legs.

The game was brutal, the crowd was out of control and in the end, Clarkson won.

Post Game: Unidentified Flying Projectiles were thrown on the ice. Highlights of the game on national TV showed the refs being escorted from the ice by State Police and an arm to arm chain of arena staff holding back the crowd as the band funneled through with the Lake State Arena Director telling them to run...

After the game, the band recieved a fair quantity of hate mail from the fans in the arena that night. In one of these letters it states "We inspire mob violence like European Soccer crowds."

There is much much more to this story. I hope I have done it justice. I was not there; these are the legends that have been told to me by alumni and hockey mom Marianne Conroy. One things is for certain; the town of Sioux St. Marie Michigan will never forget our band and still hold a grudge over this game.

Faithfully Submitted: Tom Seacord '96 '98
Revised 4/6/2008 thanks to Jim Rogers, CU VP '91

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Clarkson wins in battle of pep bands(2004)
Last Friday night was big. Very big. Clarkson. RPI. Houston Field house. Black Friday. Enough said. But while all of us at the game knew the hockey action was going to be intense, with fights and tension brimming on the wake of every whistle blow, and our boys eventually bringing home the win, there was another, at times even more interesting battle going on throughout the night: the war of the pep bands.

RPI’s pep band arsenal was locked and loaded too, with more players then I’ve seen all season. The striped shirts were extra bright, the sousaphone player twirling with extra vigor, and the dude with the flag was running faster than I’ve seen him go all semester. And why shouldn’t he, this is Clarkson people! Oates was listening, the team was listening, and the fans were listening, if there was a time to step up to the plate, this was it.

But the Clarkson band, unlike their hockey team, didn’t show to the field house unprepared and with their position firmly staked in the right side nosebleeds in our piece of ice hockey utopia, they were on the defensive, and were ready for battle. Although they lacked the number of players, the snazzy matching polos, marathon quality runners, and basic support of their home turf, you could tell right from the get go, they had done this before. This was going to be a fight for the ages.

With the buzzer ending the first period, the match had begun. Fifteen minutes of pep band fury. Clarkson, then RPI, RPI then Clarkson, Clarkson and RPI, it was pure madness. At the start of the second period, both fight songs were going, at the same time, meshing into the equivalent of one unspeakable dark, cold, rainy night pep band traffic accident. Saxophones here, trumpets there, drum sticks and expletives flying. It’s a good thing the Zambonis were there to separate the troops, and 20 minutes of hockey were about to give the bands some cool down time. But with the end of the second period, the ceasefire was over, the battle raged on, complete musical anarchy.

Both bands brought out the big guns, RPI with Black Sabbath, Clarkson with straight Ozzy Crazytrain. Again, a fight song duel at the start of the third. Towards the end of the game, the bands hit with their final blows, no pun intended, as to make their final stance, each trying to earn the spot as winner of what I like to call the “Pep Band Black Friday Battle of Fury.”

So now if you missed the game, you’re saying, “The suspense is unbearable! Who won this battle of song and spirit?” and if you saw the game, you’ll have your own opinions, or just not care. But after listening to a panel of attendants, who hold no biases against either organization (I am not here to continue the pep band controversy which erupted earlier this year, merely here as a story teller and music reviewer, giving my take on one of the most epic battles of all time, well, at least at RPI) to form an answer to this very question, who won the pep band battle? Here are the results: In looking at a pep band, there are two major elements at play: spirit, and music. As described earlier, the RPI pep band won the spirit competition hands down, and we should; this, after all, was our home turf. And, again, we have a dude with a flag. Clarkson had no dude. Clarkson had no flag. RPI 1, Clarkson 0.

However, this is an article primarily concerned with the music, which is where this battle gets sticky. Dynamically, RPI had more players, therefore, it would make sense that they were louder and more forceful in their playing. However, even from my seat way over in the mid left-side bleachers, the Clarkson pep band was louder, a lot louder! It may have been because of their position near the rafters, allowing the sound to bounce all over The Field House, or RPI’s position at the back, with instruments aimed towards the front, away from the majority of fans. But even with this in consideration, the Clarkson pep band had more air behind their horns, and it showed.

Cleanliness of the music was another issue. Clarkson’s drum rhythms were crisp and together, each voice well balanced throughout the band. Their brass section was dominant and sectionally consistent in note changes, dynamic changes, and were strong leaders throughout the night. Their pieces were well learned, well practiced, and their players, dare I say it, showed enough talent to be called musicians (not necessarily a requirement to be in a pep band).

RPI’s playing was less clean, and while successfully establishing the rhythm in their pieces, it was not as impactful as the efforts taken by the Clarkson band. Our brass was more timid, less versed than Clarkson, missing more of the higher range notes, which in the pep band world can be the difference between good and great. The band as a whole seemed less practiced and sloppier, which could very well be attributed to the added number of players for this big game.

Lastly, the Clarkson repertoire was vast, with songs of different styles, different time periods, and different genres. And even with the advent of changing styles, Clarkson remained strong in their performance, knowing each of their pieces well, projecting to the deepest reaches of the Field House. RPI’s repertoire was vast as well, with many adaptations from popular music that youwouldn’t expect from a pep band. However, many songs throughout the night were repeated, leading to the conclusion that while still large, the selection range of our archrival Clarkson, was larger.

So what does all this mean? Well, with a RPI 1, Clarkson 0 score for spirit, Clarkson did score one for dynamics, and another for overall musicality, and came close (they hit the post of the net, but it went sour) to a point on repertoire, bring our final Pep Band Black Friday Battle of Fury score to RPI 1, Clarkson 2. But, members of the pep band, and the RPI community, don’t let this discourage you! This is just one event, in a long line of future Clarkson encounters, future chances to beat the pants off those RPI rejects in both hockey and music. They came in strong last Friday, with horns of fire, drums ablaze, narrowly grabbing a Black Friday victory. We were steadfast, with a gallant effort; dude a-running, flag a-flying. So we will wait, and see the outcome of the next strike of these two pep battalions, for Clarkson may have won the battle for Black Friday, but they haven’t won the war.
Adam Plesniak Senior Reporter, RPI Polytechnic
Posted 11-10-2004 at 4:25PM

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Pep-Bands Battle at Saturday Nights Hockey Game(2004-2005)
On Saturday night in Cheel Arena the Clarkson Golden Knights were not the only ones competing. The Clarkson and RPI Pep-Bands were also fighting hard. This was not a first either. Earlier this year they fought it out on RPI's home turf; it was now our turn to have the home advantage. Not that it mattered last time, we still "won."

RPI showed up with a small repitoire of players, only one drummer, and dressed as if they were about to do some heavy duty road work...hard hats included. Clarkson, as usual, had our section filled with players and as many percussionists as we could muster. Looking good, and full of spirit, Clarkson started off the battle before the players even hit the ice.
Both RPI and Clarkson put their all into it, but it was obvious from the start who had more heart, not to mention better sound, and variety. RPI lacked strong rhythm, due to their lagging drum strength, and struggled to finish a "cheer" all night. They were not very loud and were drowned out even more by the hyped up crowd of students. You could hear them when they alone were playing, but if you added anything else on top of it, they got lost.

The few times that both bands ended up playing together RPI could barely be heard. Clarkson consistantly played clearly, with strength and volume behind each song. They had rhythm, tempo, and most importantly...did not sound like a funeral march, as did many of RPI's songs.

I would like to say that RPI's Pep-Band put up a good fight, because they tried. But it was a lost cause. They did not have the numbers. They did not have the energy. They did not have the song variety. Most of all, they did not have the support of the crowd.
After the fall "battle" The Polytechnic newspaper stated that "Clarkson may have won the battle for Black Friday, but they haven't won the war." I beg to differ, I believe my friends, that we did indeed win the war.
By Lesley Tkaczyk
Published: Monday, January 24, 2005

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The Pep Band Visits SLU vs. Brown ('06)
18 of us made the trip over to Appleton on Sunday to watch the SLUZERS head it off against the Brown Bears for the last game of their series. Nobody was entirely sure if we wanted Brown to win (as we would have traveled to Harvard for the second round if they did), but who doesn't want to cheer against obnoxious SLU fans?

From the minute we walked in the door with our Clarkson apparel, cowbells, kazoos, tambourine and vibraslap, you could feel the hatred. They clearly did not appreciate our presence and continued to remind us that we were "at the wrong game".

Brown was a severe underdog and wasn't expected to have a shot at winning one game, let alone move on to the next round, but we seemed to have quite the effect on the momentum of the game. It just so happens that SLU's general admission section is right behind their goalie for the first and third periods, making it a superb location to verbally abuse him. It was quite obvious that we were getting to him, as he was frequently looking right back at us. Aside from yelling as loud as we could and controlling the arena as we usually do (with trump cheers and all), it took until the third period for things to get interesting.

The SLUZERS had secured a 2 goal lead (4-2) midway through the last period, which gave them a sense of security, as Brown's offensive effort had been anemic at best. However, with 3 minutes to go in the 3rd, Brown came through with a power-play goal, making it a one goal game. The arena went silent, as they knew there was a chance Brown could come back. It was looking like the end when Brown pulled their goalie at 1:30 with a last ditch effort. But, with just 3.3 seconds left on the clock, they connected with a top shelf blast. I personally have never experienced such a weird atmosphere in my years of watching college hockey. The entire arena was absolutely silent, except for the 18 of us jumping and yelling Tijuana (no words of course) while the Bears celebrated.

The SLUZERS ended up winning in overtime with a questionable goal that glanced off of one of their players' skates, but it was fun to be there anyway. A few of us even got assaulted on the way out with people yelling at us and even one little old lady (whose husband was in a wheelchair next to her) throwing water and a box of popcorn at us. Overall, it was a great trip.
As told by Brent Carey '06
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