The Wolf Pack Marching band “The Pride of the Sierra” has recently hired a new Associate Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands, Doctor Corey Pompey.
Dr. Pompey came to the program in July 2018 with a vision to help the band grow and progress. The band is currently less than 200 students but through recruitment, Dr. Pompey hopes to expand the program and increase its presence.
“We [the marching band faculty] want to provide as much access as we possibly can,” said Pompey. “We want to perform at the highest level that we can, both visually and musically. And hopefully provide more scholarships for students. ”
Pompey has implemented recruiting initiatives such as the Sierra Band Crusade and visitation to programs in order for the band to grow. In addition, he has arranged for the band to perform a show out of town in the coming months.
Despite working with Pennsylvania State University, Pompey decided to come to Reno because he saw an opportunity for growth at the university in the music department.
“I was thrilled where I was, but I felt like it was time for a change,” said Pompey “Time to spread my wings. The thing that intrigued me about UNR is the fact we are trying to go places. The music department is growing and to be a part of anything that is growing is exciting.”
He also hopes in the future to have a large endowment to allow more students to pursue music and increase what can be done in operational aspects during the marching band season.
Drum Major Andrew Mendizabal explained that Pompey’s connection to the students has allowed the band to take practice seriously and understand different points of views.
“He knows how to relate with us in terms of getting us to laugh and get in the groves of things,” said Mendizabal. “He has a lively personality and the connection is starting to build up”
Derick Nguyen, a sophomore sousaphone player, expressed that the level where the band is at is further than they were at the same time last year.
“Dr. Pompey is very efficient in his way of teaching and likes to be thorough and detailed,” said Nguyen, “With his efficiency, we are grinding a lot to get the show done. And over the course of the last two weeks, we finished our pregame show and midtime show.”
Pompey explained that he wants to be through and allow the band to sound as good as they can and march the best they can.
“We’re trying to achieve excellence,” said Pompey. “To do that you have to be fundamentally sound and you have to go in depth on concepts and make sure people really understand what they are doing. Why they are doing it. And how to do it.”
Despite practices being rigorous, it allows Pompey to get more in depth in certain sections of the marching show and get things done right the first time, according to Nguyen.
According to freshman Catherine Schofield, the dynamics in high school marching band are different from collegiate marching band.
“College marching band is a lot faster paced,” said Schofield “You have to learn a lot more music and a lot more drill in less time, but the bonds and connections you make with both your fellow players and professors is stronger because of how much pressure is put on you. ”
Pompey started his musical career during middle school by joining a beginning band program offered. And through that passion it led him to pursue music education.
“It’s just a part of me,” said Pompey “I love music. I love everything about it. It’s just this feeling you get when you create or recreate at a high level it just feels really good and because of that I feel like I’ve found what I’m supposed to be doing.”
Andrew Mendez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.