Concert proceeds to help fund trip to Ireland
The LSU Tiger Marching Band — all 325 members at that — is going to Ireland.
So this year, all proceeds from the band’s annual Tigerama performance will be devoted to that trip.
“That’s all the ticket sales, everything,” says Roy King, director of athletic bands. “Last year, we made over $96,000. I know we will take in more this year.”
King will see if his prediction comes true when the Tiger Band joins the LSU Wind Ensemble and Symphony Winds in the LSU Department of Bands’ Tigerama at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
Doors open at 5 p.m. and dress will be tailgate attire.
The two ensembles will be combined into one, which will perform in the first half of the concert.
“And the big news for us is that Frank Wickes will be guest conducting the ensembles,” King says.
Wickes was LSU’s director of bands from 1980 to 2009.
“We asked him to join us this year, and we’re excited to have him back,” King says.
The rest of the program will follow tradition. The combined ensembles will end their performance with the hymn “God of Our Fathers,” accompanied by members of the Tiger Band’s brass positioned throughout the arena.
Then Drum Major Taylor Herpin will blow his whistle to signal the beginning of the second half, featuring the band, Colorguard and Golden Girls, as well as the LSU Cheerleaders.
This will be the band’s second Tigerama performance for the day. The first is set for 9:30 a.m. for an audience of schoolchildren.
“This will be the first time we’ll do a school performance,” King says. “Other groups in Baton Rouge have performances for schoolchildren. They get to see ‘The Nutcracker’ and the opera. We wanted to throw our hat into that arena, too.”
School kids not only will attend the concert but mingle with the band afterward, just as the Bengal Belles mingled with band members in Shreveport on Oct. 18.
“We brought 100 band members, the Colorguard and 18 Golden Girls and sold out the event,” King says. “The Bengal Belles had two art prints they wanted to auction off to help finance our trip to Ireland. They were hoping to raise $500 for each print.”
But the final bids were a little more than that.
“They each raised $5,000,” King says. “And then another person gave us a $5,000 check. It all goes to our Ireland trip.”
Meanwhile, a special VIP reception and silent auction is set for 5 p.m. prior to Tuesday’s concert. Auction items will include LSU and Tiger Band experiences and LSU collectibles, including a bass drum head signed by both the band and LSU football staff.
“And we have a special item to auction this year,” King says. “We have the old sign that was posted for years above Gate 7 that said, ‘Through this gate passes the Golden Band from Tigerland.’ A new sign has been put above that gate to match the stadium’s architecture.”
The old sign will go to the highest bidder with proceeds also going to the trip.
The band will travel to Ireland March 14-19, 2014, during where it will appear in Dublin’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The rest of the trip will be spent sightseeing.
“This will be the first time that the full Tiger Band will be able to make a trip overseas like this,” King says. “It’s a very exciting honor for us to bring our Tiger spirit to such an outstanding event like the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the Irish capital city.”