After Launching Football, Eastern University Adds Marching Band to Welcome New Levels of School Spirit

Eastern University
Image via Eastern University.
Eastern University logo

As Eastern University’s football team embarks on its first season against varsity NCAA competition this fall, the university’s Music Department and Athletics Department are unveiling plans to launch a marching band starting Fall 2024.

Eastern’s announcement comes with immediate preparations for a pep band and drumline to energize the upcoming 2023 football season. The two groups will be open to the university’s students and alumni.

“This will be a great addition to our university,” said Eric McNelley, Eastern’s Director of Athletics. “As we have seen with Cheer and Dance, these groups will add a great energy to our events and contribute to the growing enthusiasm on campus.”

The Eagles will play their home games at historic Franklin Field in Philadelphia this season while renovations for next year are completed on a field closer to campus. 

With the intention of recruiting a full marching band, Eastern has put the band under the leadership of Kate Umble Smucker, a professional trumpet player and music educator who tours and performs as part of the Calliope Brass Quintet. She is also the founder and band leader of the King Street Big Band, located in Lancaster.

Marcus Myers will lead the drumline. The Philadelphia native has taught at University of the Arts and has served as the artistic director for Musicopia’s drumlines in the Philadelphia School District.

“We are thrilled to launch Eastern’s new Marching Band under such excellent and talented leadership,” shared Dr. Steven Ford, Executive Director of the Fine and Performing Arts Division. “We look forward to the exciting new opportunities that marching band and drumline will provide for student musicians.”

Eastern University is a Christian university enrolling approximately 6,000 students in its undergraduate, graduate, and seminary programs. The university’s main campus is located in St. Davids, with additional locations in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and online. The university aims to provide student-athletes with opportunities for competition and development in multiple sports. Eastern has more than 500 student-athletes competing for conference, regional, and Division III national championships in 22 intercollegiate sports. Since joining the Middle Atlantic Conferences in 2008, the Eagles have won 41 conference championships and had more than 35 All-Americans.

Eastern’s Music Department equips musicians for a wide variety of careers through dynamic programs with award-winning faculty. Students develop the skills and knowledge for local and global opportunities through the vibrant integration of historical, technical, and multicultural approaches. A rich appreciation for meaningful spiritual formation is woven throughout each program.

Learn more about Eastern University.

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