ISU Band Extravaganza to showcase many ensembles

Members of the Iowa State Varsity Marching Band march in their rain gear before the game against Kansas on Oct. 14. at Jack Trice Stadium.


The ISU Band Extravaganza will showcase the talents of the Cyclone Marching Band, ISU Wind Ensemble and ISU Jazz Band at 7:30 p.m. tonight in Stephens Auditorium.

Michael Golemo, professor of music, conducts the ISU Wind Ensemble and has a part in overseeing the other bands within the band program at ISU.

“[The ISU Band Extravaganza] really displays the outstanding musicianship of students that are at Iowa State,” Golemo said. “The student level of talent here is off the charts. It’s really a lot of very talented students musically and students that are very passionate about making music and very dedicated to the program here.”

Golemo says they will provide an entertaining show for the audience, as the event nearly fills the 2,600-plus capacity of Stephens Auditorium every year.   

“It’s a fast-paced show, it’s family friendly, it’s loud, it’s exciting, it’s entertaining, it’s humorous at times and it’s just a lot of fun,” Golemo said.

The ISU Wind Ensemble and ISU Jazz Band will both perform for about 20 minutes each, followed by the Cyclone Marching Band, who will close out the Band Extravaganza with a 45-minute performance.  

The Cyclone Marching Band and color guard will perform in their cardinal red and gold uniforms, while the ISU Wind Ensemble and ISU Jazz Band will wear their formal attire.

“It is a very visual presentation,” Golemo said. “It’s a fun concert to watch.” 

The 25-member ISU Jazz Band will perform a variety of jazz pieces such as swing, Latin, rock and traditional big band.

The ISU Wind Ensemble is comprised of 60 students who play woodwind, brass and percussion instruments. They will perform four pieces, and two selections will be performed with the accompaniment of vocalist Simon Estes.

“[Estes] doesn’t normally perform at this event, so that’s going to be a real bonus this year,” Golemo said. “He’s terrific. That will be a real highlight.”

The Band Extravaganza will be the only indoor performance the Cyclone Marching Band plays all year. It will look different from their typical football halftime shows because there will be no room on stage for the 350-member band to march. But they will play selections from all the music they’ve performed during their halftime shows.

Among their performances this season, they played a magic-themed show which included music from the “Harry Potter” films. They had a “Throwback Thursday” themed show which included the “Friends” theme song, Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

Elena Foster, a senior majoring in elementary education, serves as one of three drum majors in the marching band. As drum major, she stands on a ladder and conducts the marching band during their performances. 

“There’s so much overlap between the bands. I know of people that are in all three [bands],” Foster said. “I’ve always just done marching band because that’s already so much of a time commitment, but our students are really dedicated to what they do.”

Foster said that even though it requires a lot of time and hard work to be a part of these bands, she has never heard anyone complain about the work required.

“It’s such a privilege and an opportunity and an honor to be in all these ensembles and have the opportunity to share music and what we do with people that also want to listen to something that we love,” Foster said.

“If you like the Cyclones, if you like the marching band, then check it out,” Golemo said. “It’s really a fun concert, and it’s a celebration of Cyclone spirit.”

Tickets for the ISU Band Extravaganza are $10 for adults, $5 for students and are available through Ticketmaster and the Stephens Auditorium box office.