Students can experience the musical side of Hokie tradition this tonight at Virginia Tech’s eighth annual "Band-A-Rama."
The Marching Virginians, the University Symphonic Wind Ensemble and the Virginia Tech Jazz Ensemble will take over Burruss Auditorium starting at 7:30 p.m., where the three performance groups will each showcase a variety of musical stylings in 30-minute segments.
“Our goal is to give people a treat,” said David McKee, director of the Marching Virginians. “It’s a great opportunity for everyone to see what’s happening on this campus musically.”
The event, which has occurred yearly since 2006, serves as a scholarship fundraiser for students within the music department. The proceeds of last year’s Band-A-Rama helped enable the University Symphonic Wind Ensemble to travel to New York City, where they performed in Carnegie Hall.
“We try to use the proceeds in ways that will benefit the students in one way or another, and we’ve left it open as far as that goes,” McKee said. “This year it will be for student activities, such as students attending music festivals, workshops, clinics and things of that nature.”
Band-A-Rama is unique in that it functions as the only indoor performance of the Marching Virginians all year. While the transition from Lane Stadium to Burruss Hall originally proved challenging, McKee says choreographing the band to fit into the space is now second nature.
“It’s a little bit like herding sheep,” McKee said. “But two-thirds of the band has done this before, so they have a pretty good idea of how things go. The woodwinds and trumpets come in the house from the back, while up on stage will be all the tubas, trombones, baritones and horns, and in the pit will be the drum line.”
According to Jazz Ensemble director Jason Crafton, Band-A-Rama is a unique chance to experience the multiple Tech bands performing at the same event, which entices students, professors and alumni alike.