UNIVERSITY PARK, PA (WOAY)- WVU’s Marching band, the Pride of West Virginia, had the opportunity to bring the mountaineer pride to Penn State and support the team in the first game of their season. Which brought a mix of emotions to many members including first year, Aidan Blankenship.
Aidan Blankenship from Oceana in Wyoming County said “well, I’m a freshman, so a lot of it was really new to me. It was a mix of emotion between excitement, anxiety and even more anxiety. But I was I was really, really excited for this trip.”
After a 3-hour bus ride, they had a pre-game rehearsal and paraded to the stadium. Once the team came in, they played their hearts out to give their team and fans the mountaineer spirit in a stadium of blue and white.
“It feels amazing. There’s no experience like performing for the pride, and there’s no fans like WVU fans anywhere else,” exclaimed Molly Pino from Oak Hill in Fayette County.
While they played their tunes, they got support from both West Virginia and Penn State fans.
“Oh, great. This is great environment. They’re really nice here. Very welcoming,” said Recie Perry from Beckley in Raleigh County. “Absolutely. Everyone’s been welcoming,” agreed Emma Barnett from Glen Fork in Wyoming County.
Their halftime show brought the rock music of Metallica. Starting off with Master of Puppets then playing Lox Aeturna to round off their halftime performance.
“I had so much fun performing the halftime show. I loved that. I loved our drill this year and the music. It was fun,” Molly Pino states.
In that show, they were able to share their music with over 110,000 people in Beaver Stadium that night. “I’ve never performed in front of this many people, but it was really great experience,” stated Recie Perry. “No, absolutely. It’s a very nice stadium. There’s so many people,” added Emma Barnett.
At the end of the night the pride of West Virginia got a little game day tradition from the blue band showing that college bands are always there for each other no matter the game outcome, before marching back to head home to WVU. While the football team didn’t win the game, the band always win because they got to support their team, have fun doing it, and continuing to pursue your dreams like Aidan reminds us too..
“just because you’re from a small town and small dreams doesn’t mean you can’t have big things like this. My marching band in high school was at most 25 people, and now I am playing with almost 300 others. So dream big and go mountaineers!”