The Amsterdam High School Marching Rams will join some 3,000 young musicians and performers at the University of Massachusetts’ 37th annual UMass Band Day this weekend (Saturday, Oct. 9). The event will take place on the UMass campus in Amherst as part of the rivalry football game featuring the UMass Minutemen vs. the University of Connecticut Huskies.
The Marching Rams will be one of some 60 bands attending this event which recently has had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But this year it is back with safety precautions in place.
“Our band program has been challenged throughout the pandemic with remote band rehearsals and performances and the Marching Rams are thrilled to be back performing for live audiences both at home and at special events like this,” said Marching Rams Director Ann Wilary. “UMass is an amazing opportunity for them to perform with and for thousands of people and it feels both like a great reward and huge relief to have made it back to what we love to do, which is performing together. We have weathered the storm and we are beyond excited to be back!”
What started with three bands in 1984, UMass Band Day now draws thousands of high school, junior high and middle school band students from all over the Northeast including uniformed musicians, color guard, baton twirlers, dancers and more. Some 110 Marching Rams will be making the trip this year. Once they arrive on campus, students start their day by attending a mass field rehearsal in the morning led by college students from the world renowned UMass Minuteman Marching Band.
They will spend several hours learning the music, field moves and choreography for Saturday’s halftime show. At halftime for the 3:30 p.m. football game, the Rams will be performing with the UMass Minuteman Marching Band and thousands of students from across the Northeast in a mass halftime show at McGuirk Alumni Stadium. The theme for the show is “St. Patrick’s Day in October,” which was described as a delayed celebration of St. Patrick’s Day for the UMass Band which did not get to partake in the music they traditionally play last March due to COVID limitations.
The day will end with students getting to watch the post-game show performance of the Minutemen Marching Band, while they socialize with musicians from other schools.