An instrumental rendition of “Treasure” by Bruno Mars filled the surprisingly warm air on the evening of Nov. 9. Cheerleaders and Pom Squad members skillfully cheered and danced on the Quad, providing a visual element to viewers attending both in-person and virtually via Facebook Live.
Having traversed the Fall semester without football and basketball games to display their skills, the HSU music department’s Showband of Arkansas performed a myriad of music accompanied by Cheerleading and Pom Squads who synchronously moved to the music.
During an intermission, Pom Squad members choreographically danced to music and cheerleaders voiced a cheer while accomplishing a stunt.
Before COVID, a performance such as this would have been held in the Garrison Lecture Hall or the Arkansas Hall auditorium. Normally, the band plays at a handful of exhibitions at highschools and other places, but the advent of the virus has proven this difficult as well. New band director Dontay L. Douglas refused to let COVID take away all performances, and enthusiastically hosted the Showband event.
Band members were required to wear masks while playing their instruments. While wind instrument musicians played, some would uncover their mouths for the duration of a song. Others used ingenuity as they cut holes in their masks for mouthpieces to fit through.
“If you just have a mask, it ain’t gonna work,” sophomore psychology major Cody Crank said. “I used my pocket knife and cut a little circle so I could still play.”
Practicing three times a week for two hours a time, band participation is a time-consuming activity. However, Crank enjoys this opportunity to share comradery with his fellow bandmates as well while doing something he loves.
“It is a good mix of professional without being overbearing,” Crank said. “Overall it’s just a fun environment.”
In sixth grade, Crank started playing trumpet. Having played trumpet for eight years, Crank greatly enjoys participating in Henderson’s marching band as well as a smaller band called the Brass Ensemble composed of brass instruments such as the french horn, tuba, and trombone. In this band, Crank plays the cornet, which is akin to a small version of the trumpet.
“I like the quote that Squidard said, ‘So if we play loud, people might think we’re good,’” Crank said.
Crank grew up in Princeton, Texas where his band director there recommended he play trumpet for Henderson. The student came to HSU alongside a few of his friends who are also from Princeton.
“When I settle down I’ll start looking for community playing positions,” Crank said.
Crank plans to continue playing trumpet after he graduates, whether for himself or in a local band.