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Hockey Pep Band’s returner rehearsal brings music to Beyer Hall and soon, to ISU Ice Arena

Daniel Jacobi II
Before the game against Roosevelt University on Dec. 4, 2021, the Iowa State University Men’s Hockey Pep Band plays popular tunes, as well as the Iowa State fight song.

If you were in Beyer Hall on Wednesday night, you may have heard music coming from room 1310. The hallway echoed with the sounds of drums, woodwinds and brass instruments playing in harmony. 

These were the sounds of Hockey Pep Band’s returner rehearsal, which included veteran performers only and took place before their first full group rehearsal next week. The band plays at Iowa State home hockey games Saturdays and Sundays.

After the Men’s Hockey Club was suspended for a season following a hazing investigation and the Women’s Hockey Club was without have a team last year due to a lack of players, the band had to get creative about when and where they could play.

Several members recalled the Iowa Wild hockey game that they played in January, while others talked about playing at last year’s homecoming.

Still, there was an unmistakable sense of excitement in the room as Jake Winters, a junior in mechanical engineering and president of the band, spoke about playing at the hockey games this season.

“The Hockey Pep Band is looking to come back with a bang,” Winters said.

It is his first year in the position, but he said that he is enjoying the position so far. Winters’ priority as president is to get the band a larger rehearsal space.

“We had people kind of flowing out of the door,” he said, recalling how many people showed up for their first rehearsal of last season.

Winters said he is also excited about the collaboration between the Hockey Pep Band, the Men’s Hockey Club and the hockey cheerleaders. He said this is the first year they are all coordinating with each other, and he’s looking forward to having a unified group of performers and players.

Chase Hohanshelt, a senior majoring in music and treasurer, said he is also excited about the band’s return to hockey games.

“Come to the games,” Hohanshelt said. “We’re excited to be back, and we’re excited to have you back.”

Hohanshelt also said that he is looking forward to seeing the younger members of the band play, “especially since the freshmen and sophomores haven’t experienced [playing at a game] yet.”

Ryan Toon, junior in electrical engineering and social media co-chair, is one of these sophomores.

“Even though I’ve been here since last year, I’ve never seen the hockey team play,” Toon said.

Toon said the first hockey game he saw was the Iowa Wild game the band played at last year.

“The response we’ve had was amazing,” Toon said, noting the band’s Google form at ClubFest had gotten 76 applications as of Wednesday evening.

Toon recalled the first rehearsal of last year and described sitting on a counter in the back with his bass.

“Ideally, it will be like that next week,” Toon said.

Carter Peterson, a sophomore in software engineering, is the secretary for the Hockey Pep Band. It is his second year in the organization, and, like Toon, he has never seen the Iowa State hockey team play but is eager to add their vibrance and energy to the hockey games.

One of Peterson’s favorite things about the Hockey Pep Band is that they do not require performers to be part of the marching band, unlike other pep bands on campus.

“We can be a really good opportunity for people who were in band in high school and don’t want to do marching band,” Peterson said. “We create a really good middle ground.”

Despite it being the returner rehearsal, it was senior in software engineering Alix Noble’s first time at a Hockey Pep Band rehearsal. They are using the organization as a way to practice bass guitar before potentially trying out for the basketball pep band later this year.

At the end of the rehearsal, Noble said they were “still shit at bass” but seemed happy with the overall experience.

The Hockey Pep Band’s first rehearsal of the season will be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The executive board does not know where they will be meeting yet, but they hope to have a larger room to rehearse in because of the size of the turnout.

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