By Adam Heater
JMC 54 Writer
Fans pile into the Knapp Center and take their seats, ready to cheer on the Drake Basketball team. The smell of popcorn, the feeling of anticipation, and the Drake fight song, fill the air. Music courtesy of the Bulldog Brass is the prelude to an evening of basketball, and the Knapp Center will soon echo with what the Brass take pride in most, their ability to heckle.
“I feel like we really make an impact on the game, getting paid to go play music with my friends and affect the game is one of my favorite things at Drake,” Kaleb Shulz, a sophomore Trumpet Performance major, said. The Bulldog Brass are present at every home basketball game, both men’s and women’s.
“I do Bulldog Brass because a lot of my friends are in it and it’s a good way to make a little bit of cash,” Josh Ingham, a first-year Music Business major said. Some of the best benefits to being a part of the ensemble don’t just come in the form of the 20 dollar per game paycheck.
“My favorite part would have to be the tournaments. We get to go to the Missouri Valley Conference tournaments as well as the NCAA tournaments, all expenses paid. We also get hot dogs at half time of every game,” Shulz said. At times being a member of the Bulldog Brass seems like it would be one of the best gigs a student-musician could get, but with many Drake students having hectic schedules, sometimes poor attendance of members can be a problem.
“Not enough Brass members were showing up to play at the games, so the athletics department was getting upset. In turn, that made the President upset and there was talk about cutting funding to the music program at Drake,” Ingham said.
It isn’t surprising that some people in the athletic department are upset, the Bulldog Brass are a loud and pretty rowdy group at games, and it can be tough to find time to make it to games all the time, according to Ingham.
Looking past the scrutiny that the Brass are facing from some members of the Drake community, they aren’t afraid to continue what they love doing, making music and making noise.