Golden Wave Band promises fans good time

Members of the Baylor Golden Wave Band perform at a home game against Liberty at McLane Stadium on Sept. 2 during the second quarter. During the halftime show, the band played adaptations of famous Beatles songs, as well as all of the Baylor classics. Liesje Powers | Multimedia Editor

By Cassidy Pate | Reporter

For over 100 years, a group of about 300 students has come together, dismissing their worries about school to practice and perform their passion, three days a week and every home football game. This group is none other than the Golden Wave Band.

Although the Golden Wave Band, also referred to as “BUGWB” (pronounced bug-wub) by its members, is often associated with football season, this program serves a higher purpose to the students inside those BU-embroidered uniforms and plumed hats.

An abundance of Baylor spirit and talent became evident following a one-hour, behind-the-scenes look at the end of rehearsal Wednesday.

For Colleyville sophomore Ferrin Gillespie, one word came to mind when asked to sum up the band: home.

Because the band arrives a week prior to school starting every year, Gillespie said the band became her family before anyone else in school stepped into said role.

“This was kind of my first impression of Baylor, and it was the best thing I’ve ever done in my whole life,” Gillespie said. “I love these people so much.”

With at least three two-hour practices a week and one practice before every home game, Gillespie outlined a regular band rehearsal in four steps.

First, they play the fight song and then they do a group stretch. Next, the band plays the music for about 30 to 40 minutes, either within their section or with the group as a whole. Last comes drills, which Gillespie said is figuring out where to go.

The Golden Wave Band plays a new set of music at every home game.

Gillespie said the band usually receives their music a few weeks in advance, but sometimes gets it just the day before. This leaves about two weeks to prepare for each game as well as memorize the set; however, most students have a solid understanding of the music by the second or third to last practice prior to game day.

Because Saturday is an away game for football in Durham, N.C., the topic of how band members are chosen to travel came up. Gillespie said the band decided based on a signup sheet, so whoever wants to go and has the spirit to go has the opportunity to attend two away games.

It is understandable that marching counts as a Lifetime Fitness credit, because during practice it can get incredibly hot and there are often gnats flying around, yet the band seems unaffected by any of these factors as they remain attentive to the directors.

Burnet sophomore Krista Howard, like Gillespie, has been marching since freshman year and had nothing negative to say about her experience thus far.

“You just see that, especially when people come together about something they passionately care about, we also genuinely start to care for each other,” Howard said.

Howard’s favorite thing about football games is what the band calls “thumpy,” which is characterized by running with high knees onto the field as the crowd goes wild. This is the band’s first appearance at every home game.

“It’s the greatest feeling,” Howard said. “Thousands of people cheering you on for your first steps onto the football field for that day.”

Gillespie and Howard agreed that the next home football game’s halftime show will be a good time. It will include classic songs you may heard from your parents, but will still make you want to dance in the stands.

If you desire to be a part of this long-standing tradition or learn more, click here.

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