Cavalier Marching Band “Day in the Life”: Jeff Principe (SEAS ’15)

image001Jeff Principe (SEAS ’15)

Drum Major/Clarinet
School of Engineering and Applied Science
Computer Science Major

HoosNetwork: What were some of your favorite choreography displays during your time in the CMB?

Jeff: One of the best traditions of the CMB is performing TAG before every home football game. The drumline plays while the rest of the band does a high-energy choreographed dance together. It’s one of the first things new members learn during band camp and is a ton of fun to perform. Since we do a new halftime show for every home game, there are so many different displays to choose from. I remember last year we did a show for the Evolution of Dance where we made images of two large stick figures performing dances to each other. Rehearsing the moves took a lot of work, but the effect worked really well and the crowd reacted really well to it.

HoosNetwork: What is the experience at a football/basketball game like? How does it feel to be in front of the crowd and in the spotlight?

Jeff: The first time I came out of the tunnels in Scott Stadium, seeing and hearing the crowd was overwhelming. Coming from high school football where the attendance was in the low hundreds, it was a big transition to playing in front of tens of thousands of fans every week. As we leave the stadium after each game, we are often approached by fans thanking us for being there. Our primary goal as a band is to get the crowd energized, so it is great whenever we hear that people are excited about the band.

Basketball games are even more raucous than football. While many schools only have a band of 30-40 people at each game, we often have over 100 players in our band, which lets us fill JPJ with our sound and really get the crowd engaged. The fans often respond by getting even louder and even singing along to some songs. It’s great being able to feed off of the crowd’s energy.

HoosNetwork: What do you like to do outside of band?

Jeff: I help coordinate volunteers and run tournaments for Virginia Science Olympiad, which puts on STEM competitions for middle and high school students in the spring of each year. We recently held our state tournament, which was attended by over 50 schools. I am also involved in programming languages research in the Computer Science department and have been a teaching assistant for the Electrical and Computer Engineering department in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

HoosNetwork: Do you need to practice on your own in order to keep up with the routines?

Jeff: While we don’t rehearse as much as many other college marching bands, we are able to work very efficiently during practices to refine our marching sets and memorize the music, enabling us to get more done in less time. Though many choose to work on improving their technique and musical ability outside of rehearsals, the directors do not require members to practice on their own. It is tough learning a new show for each home game, but we are able to do it almost entirely through our group rehearsal time.

HoosNetwork: Where has the CMB taken you that you didn’t expect to go? or What has the CMB1CMB given you that you did not expect to receive from it?

Jeff: Most people don’t usually think of a band playing at sporting events like wrestling, tennis, or track and field, but through the CMB’s Olympic Sports Band, we play at all of these and more! Because of band I have had the opportunity to see so many of the great student athletes we have at the University of Virginia compete at the highest levels of their sports. The athletes and coaches love it when we come to play for them and in return I have been able to see thehigh  quality and variety of athletic teams at the university.

Prior to joining the CMB, I had lost a lot of the passion that had once fueled my love for music. I doubted whether I would ever be involved in music again. Fast forward to graduation, and now I can’t imagine my life without it. Every time I take the field, I am grateful to the CMB and all of those in it who have helped me rediscover my love for music.

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