Club Spotlight: Let’s Hear It For Villanova Band


Courtesy of Sideline Photography

Villanova Band performs at a football game.

Tommy Lynch, Staff Writer

They have been seen at football, basketball and volleyball games. Their sound fills St. Mary’s Hall every Monday and Tuesday evening. They are at Orientation and Fall Festival, dressed up in loud uniforms and performing their hearts out. They are the members of the Villanova Band.


Operating as one of the largest communities on campus, with more than 100 members, the band is a group of students united in their love of music. There are no auditions for the program. If one wants to play an instrument, one is invited to join.


“The Villanova Band has always been built on the idea of fun and passion,” band president Chris Leonard said. “None of our members are music majors, nor is anyone obligated to commit to band. All 100 of our members choose to be a part of band due to their passion for musical excellence and strong community bonds.”


“In part due to the fact that we’re open to everyone with no auditions and also that our commitment level is as much or as little as you want, it’s really clear that everyone is there because they want to be,” added the band’s secretary, Emma Giancola.


During football season, the band is at every home game, rain or shine, performing during timeouts and half time. Every halftime show is unique and learned the morning of the game.


“It really helps us expand our musical library and showcase many of our different sections each show,” Leonard said. “With the amount of rehearsals we have before each show being a limited amount, we are able to put on an entertaining and fun performance for the audience that is unique each game”.


In lieu of being a marching band, the Villanova Band is what is known as a scramble band. Instead of keeping time and changing formations on the field during songs, the band takes the time in between songs to move around and get to the next formation. This is not limited to walking or running, as members partake in cartwheels, games of “Rock-Paper-Scissors” and even staged CPR. As long as members reach their spots before the next song, they may do anything.


“They’re an extension of us,” said Mark Jackson, Vice President and Director of Athletics at Villanova. “Everybody connects to the energy that they bring.”


For band newcomers, a week-long camp the week before the semester starts presents an opportunity to get to know other new members to the program.


“I was able to make friends very quickly and [the band] has made me feel more than just a cog in the machine, but rather an integral part of the Villanova University experience,” freshman drumline member Nick Williams said.


“Band has allowed me to meet some of my closest friends here and it has given me a family on campus”, freshman trumpet Eva Grzech said. “Definitely one of my best decisions.”


The band is heavily student-run. There is a board filled with elected students who work with the director. Further, assistants to board members, section leaders and band managers all work together to keep the band running smoothly.


“The band is a student-run organization, so it all comes down to the help and support of the students,” said Mark Faverzani, one of five band managers. “The band managers rely heavily on the other positions to make sure that we have everything accounted for, and it makes for smooth performances and an overall better band.”


It is hard to find any member who is not looking forward to the 2022-23 basketball season. Donning fun pep jerseys voted on by the members, the band gives its all to every aspect of the game.


“Our basketball uniforms (“pep jerseys”) are all student-submitted ideas that the students then vote on,” Giancola said. “These opportunities for fun and creativity are unlike any other band that I personally have seen before.”


Once March rolls around, a select group of members get the opportunity to travel to the Big East Tournament in New York City, where the band performs at Madison Square Garden alongside the team. Come March Madness, the core band travels with the basketball team. These incredible experiences give the band attention on campus and television features.


“Being on TV was such a cool experience,” said Brian McFarland, Vice President of Fundraising. “I received so many texts from family members saying they spotted me…and then many of my classmates were telling me about it as well the following week.”


If one is interested in joining the band, they can contact Beth Sokolowski, Director of Music Activities, at [email protected] 


Follow the band on Instagram @villanovaband or on Facebook at Villanova University Band.