If you haven’t been paying attention – and let’s be honest, hopefully you haven’t – there’s apparently been a lot a controversy surrounding the 2013 Pride of Oklahoma marching band.
Apparently, the longtime director of the Pride of Oklahoma recently retired, and OU President David Boren and some micro-managing regent went around a search committee and handpicked Justin Stolarik from Wisconsin to be the new director. This raised some eyebrows on campus because Stolarik allegedly did not meet the minimum requirements for the job and he failed to kiss President Boren’s ring when they first met. Also, I guess band members and alumni were both hoping OU would go with an internal candidate or something. At least I think that’s the story. I was in band in middle school and some of high school, and writing all this just brings up some really bad memories.
Instead of trying to blend in and go with the flow, Stolarik acted like a new dog in the backyard and ran around pissing on everything like he owned the place. He toyed with new formations and tried to infuse traditions from Wisconsin into the Pride’s pregame marching routine. This really pissed off OU football fans, alumni and band members, so they took to social media to complain. They posted pics of the Pride’s new routine on Facebook, and pointed out how closely it mimicked pregame rituals and tradition from Wisconsin.
Of course, this angered Joe OU football fan because OU is a storied college football institution drenched in traditions that are not allowed to be changed, and Wisconsin, well, they had Ron Dayne. Due to the complaints and to save face, High Commander Boren nixed some elements of the new Badger-inspired pregame routine, while allowing a few new things, like a different marching formation (see video above).
Despite all of this, the members of the Pride were still not satisfied. They continued to make noise like an 8th grader playing the oboe. This lead to the following amazing headline to be posted on KFOR:
Yes, watch out world. The OU Marching band has pulled a Hezbollah and released a set of demands to President Boren. If they’re not met, I heard they are going to stop playing show tunes at halftime, and replace “It’s a Grand Old Flag” with “Fifty Nifty United States.” That will teach Boren to mess with the band.
Anyway, the story about the Pride’s demands is about as entertaining as the headline. Check it out:
Senior members of the Pride of Oklahoma marching band have been fighting changes to deep rooted traditions made by new director, Justin Stolarik.
Before the season started the marching bands Stolarik reassured fans that changes would not be made to the fanfare but that’s only a small part of their pregame performance.
The small changes that were made to the rest of the pregame march have band members upset, so they went to President Boren.
Senior members felt like Boren took their concerns seriously as they presented their list of demands this week.
Mellophone player Isaac Blaxton says, “I did not at all expect for it to just escalate that quickly to where I was being called into the President’s office for a meeting.”
Less than confident about their season opener performance, President Boren reassured them. Telling them everything he’s heard has been positive, but Blaxton strongly disagrees.
Blaxton says, “I don’t know who you are hearing that from but no one we’re talking to feels the same way.”
Blaxton says he’s heard talk around campus about laughter from the student section during their pregame and halftime performances.
Yeah, I think that mellophone player may be delusional. Does he really think OU students stuck around at halftime and watched the band play? That would be a first. If you want to clear out a group of OU students, just tell them the Pride of Oklahoma is coming.
Even if they did stick around, can you blame them for laughing? You’re in the band! Have you seen the outfits you have to wear? I was in high school marching band and even I’d laugh at how ridiculous we looked. It’s just the way the world works. Football players get the glory and the babes. Band members get laughed it.
Anyway, we have acquired through the Ogle Mole Network a list of the Pride of Oklahoma’s demands. Here are some of them:
Wait, those were part of David Boren’s demands. Here’s the Pride’s list:
Okay, so maybe those aren’t really the demands of the band. Just like Justin Stolarik, it looks like we’re just making shit up just to make shit up. We should probably stop. The last thing we want to do is piss off the band. They’re more ruthless than Jedi OKC.
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