Western Thunder Seeks New Members
March 27, 2008 — The University of Wyoming Western Thunder Marching Band (WTMB) will have an open sign-up period for new members continuing through July.
WTMB membership is open to all UW students. In addition to musicians, the group offers opportunities for auxiliary members including baton twirlers and color guard. To sign-up as a new member, visit www.uwyo.edu/marchingband and select the "join us" menu. No audition is necessary.
WTMB Director Chris Nicholas says he expects last year's record-breaking interest from new and first-year students to continue this year, and once again result in "one of the largest and most exciting bands at UW in recent history."
"Our recruiting efforts the past few years have really paid off -- in 2007, we had the largest incoming freshman class I've seen since coming to UW in 2001," Nicholas says. "There is already a terrific energy surrounding the students and staff for the upcoming season, as well. We expect 2008 to be a banner year for the group."
UW's Head Football Coach Joe Glenn says he counts on that energy -- it helps the Cowboys win games.
"Western Thunder creates a sensational spirit and atmosphere (at games) that will be remembered by the Wyoming faithful for all of their lives. Our school and state are lucky to have such a professional group of musicians playing together," Glenn says.
The band's unprecedented expansion and many public accolades over the last few years have increased prospective students' interest in UW's music program, and helped the band offer more opportunities for its members, according to Nicholas.
"For the fifth straight year, perhaps our most exciting area of growth is in our scholarship and support budgets," Nicholas says. "Each marching band member receives a yearly scholarship in recognition for their service to the university. We have more than doubled the amount of money available to WTMB students. Additionally, we are extremely excited that for the fall of 2008 we will receive an influx of new support budget to replace and/or upgrade instruments and equipment."
Western Thunder features musicians from nearly every UW major who perform annually for approximately 125,000 Cowboy football fans. The band travels with the UW football team on selected road trips, including all post-season bowl games. To date WTMB has performed in San Diego, Calif., Tucson, Ariz., Miami, Fla., Las Vegas, Nev., and Orlando, Fla.