When you’re sitting in your seat at Milan Puskar Field prior to any football game and you see the famous WVU Drumline start playing and coming out of the home tunnel, you know the Pride is about to take the field.
Since 1901, the Pride of West Virginia has been one of the top collegiate marching bands in the entire country and a fan favorite. But they are more than just a pregame and halftime show, they are a symbol for the state of West Virginia. To the citizens of the great state of West Virginia (and beyond), the Pride exemplifies WVU. They were put on a national stage in 2016 during the band’s appearance in the 2016 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Chosen to lead the parade, “The Pride of West Virginia” marched through the streets of New York City performing the WVU fight song, “Hail West Virginia!” along with one of the band’s signature tunes, “Country Roads.”
Their traditional pregame show is 13 minutes of excellence. No matter what age of fan, it gets the blood pumping and gets you ready for some Mountaineer football. “Fight Mountaineers” as the band forms the Flying WV and plays the traditional WVU fight song, “Mountain Dew” another fan favorite brings fans to their feet when the Pride makes the two large “WVU’s”. “Simple Gifts”, or as fans call it “Circle Song”, which is arguably the member’s favorite tune, as they make the large circles and expand them. The WV Alma Mater reminding fans that the school is one big family. The Pride puts their own spin on the National Anthem and is highly respected in the collegiate band community across the country. “Country Roads” the official state song and the fan’s favorite tune while ending making the famous State Outline of West Virginia which always brings a roar from the crowd. Ending with “Hail WV” another traditional fight song which includes the “Let’s Go Mountaineers” cheer.
The average fan doesn’t realize all of the hard work and time that goes into perfecting their craft. A week of 14 hour days during Band Camp, practice every day from 4-6pm, and getting to the stadium 6 hours prior to kickoff. Yes, if it is a noon kickoff, the band is already in formation at 5:30am. They travel across the state, performing for high schools to promote music in the state and help high schools raise money for their band programs. Yes, this includes travel on non-home game weekends and even school nights.
If you are interested in helping the Pride, please go visit: https://give.wvu.edu/pride-travel-fund to help with the Pride Travel Fund and help them get to more away games and help with Bowl Game travel expenses.
If you are going to any WVU games this season, get to the game early to see these amazing young men and women perform. Stay for halftime and cheer these young musicians on. Game day isn’t complete without the Pride. As the band enters its 117th season, its members take great pride in not only maintaining this rich legacy, but building on it as they strive to reach new heights. They truly are the Pride of West Virginia.
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