Rookie Spotlight: 12 Questions with Paul Nestler

q1 nestler

“I went to Lower Dauphin High School in Hummelstown, PA and was in the Big Blue Band from Falcon Land.”

q2 nestler

“I play the alto saxophone”

q3 nestler

“Probably coming out of the tunnel for the first time. I was really trying to not get sick before the game and make sure I remember all of the drill.”

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Behind Bandorama

The annual musical review of the Blue Band’s performances from that season has been a long-standing tradition at Penn State that has been embraced by students and fans alike.  Parents, peers, and high school groups make the trek to Eisenhower Auditorium to see both the Penn State Symphonic Band and the Blue Band perform a show of musical excellence.  A semester’s worth of rehearsals, drills, and individual practice time is represented in the sights and sounds of this evening, and this year’s show this Friday is no different.

For members of the Blue Band this week is one of the most trying and time consuming of the season.  Extra rehearsals are added into the schedule and the scramble to recover all of the music from the last three months seems to always result in the librarians’ near-meltdowns.  In addition to putting a challenging show on the field for the game this upcoming Saturday, the band must recall the nuances of music performed from as far back as August.

Is it worth it?  Absolutely.  Aside from the obvious significance of the 2014 edition of Bandorama being Dr. Bundy’s last performance, this show is a culmination of the hard work and dedication of each and every member of the ensemble throughout this semester.  From the first music rehearsal of the famous Penn State fight songs during band camp to learning every other fight song for Big Ten schools throughout the season, the students you will see on stage this Friday have a lot to offer in both talent and showmanship.  From the smallest piccolo rookie to the largest bass drummer, there is no insignificant member of the Blue Band.  As high schoolers many of them had attended Bandorama and were inspired by the performance to audition upon their admission to Penn State, and it is the hope to inspire the next generation of talented Blue Banders that makes the extra time worth it.

With the elimination of some traditional performance opportunities for the band this season, Bandorama is an opportunity for family, friends, and fans who don’t attend football games to support the ensemble.  The high volume of ticket sales for the performance this Friday are also a direct reflection of the public’s appreciation for Dr. Bundy.  For years he has been acknowledged with rousing applause at the end of Bandorama, and this year the applause is sure to represent the respect and admiration the fans of the Blue Band have for this incredible director and all that he has done for the University.

This Friday, after a performance by the School of Music’s Symphonic Band, the Blue Band will take the stage at Eisenhower Auditorium to show the incredible musical and athletic talent they have to offer.  At the end of this show, Dr. Bundy will take his last bow with the Blue Band on that stage.

The Blue Band is one of the greatest traditions of this university, and Bandorama is one of the greatest traditions of the Blue Band.  So, on Friday, just as it has for years, the Blue Band will Raise the Song, For the Glory.

PSU Blue Band Heads to Ireland for the Croke Park Classic

Penn State Blue Band will bring the home field advantage to the Croke Park Classic

33 Blue Band Members will bring the Beaver Stadium atmosphere to Ireland for the Croke Park Classic

On 8/26/2014, 33 members of the Penn State Marching Blue Band will head to Dublin, Ireland to bring the Beaver Stadium atmosphere to the Croke Park Classic PSU vs. UCF Game. These 33 members are made up of members from each section of the Blue Band, and they will be preforming at the Croke Park Classic on 08/30/2014. The Blue Band is very much looking forward to representing Penn State on an international level.

When the Blue Band was presented with this opportunity, Director Dr. Richard Bundy said, “This is a terrific opportunity for some of our students to represent Penn State and the Blue Band.”

To make this opportunity a reality, the Blue Band Staff and Front Office had to work very hard to coordinate between the Penn State Athletics Department, the Croke Park Classic Staff, and the Student Members of the Blue Band. The Blue Band Staff worked tirelessly to make decisions regarding:

  • Instrumentation: The Blue Band Staff had to decide how many students from each section of the Band would travel to Ireland that would provide a solid musical foundation, within the 33 Member restriction.
  • Travel Logistics: The Blue Band Staff had to coordinate with the Croke Park Classic Staff to make decisions regarding student, instrument, and uniform transportation to Ireland.

The PENN STATE BLUE BAND is recognized as one of the nation’s finest college marching bands and performs to capacity crowds in 107,232 seat Beaver Stadium — home of Penn State Nittany Lion football. The Blue Band has performed at every major bowl game in the U.S., including the Rose Bowl and the Tournament of Roses Parade. The 2014–2015 season is the 115th year of the Blue Band’s proud, tradition-filled history.

Blue and White Fever!

Have you come down with a case of Blue and White Fever?!

Symptoms may include:

  • Constantly humming “Fight On State”
  • Staring at Beaver Stadium from a distance with an expression of longing and sadness
  • Counting down the days until the return of Penn State Football and the PSU Marching Blue Band

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, don’t worry! Health Officials say that the best way to get rid of Blue and White Fever is to go to the Blue and White Game on April 12th in Beaver Stadium!!!!!

BE THERE……it’s good for your health! 

Check us out on Facebook (Penn State Blue Band Official) and Twitter (@PSUBlueBand)

Blue Band on the Road

The Blue Band is travelling 330 miles to the much-anticipated Ohio State v. Penn State game this weekend. Getting the band to The Horseshoe with all of its equipment, uniforms and instruments is not an easy task.

The Blue Band performing at MetLife Stadium earlier this year

The Blue Band performing at MetLife Stadium earlier this year

The managers spend about two hours loading up a full tractor trailer (think semi) with everything the band might need. Two sets of percussion equipment (for pregame and halftime), hat boxes, ladders, silk equipment, raincoat bags and other supplies that the staff might need are all packed in with the instruments on the truck. Each load and unload at the site takes about an hour to get all the instruments and equipment off the truck, distributed and get cases packed up again.

Students and staff take up six coach buses, filling almost every seat. For this weekend, the caravan departs at 6 a.m. Because of the early start, most sections will have breakfast together on the bus and share snacks throughout the ride. People bring movies to watch, sleep and enjoy some down time.

But when the bus rolls up to the final destination, everyone knows it’s time to get serious.

Uniforms are put on, hair is put up and spats are snapped together in a confined space (much less convenient than our great locker rooms) but we are still expected to look performance-ready and sharp.

Even though there’s a lot of time and effort that go in to taking the whole band to an away game, it’s definitely worth it. To perform in a “foreign” stadium in front of Penn State fans, opposing fans and another band is something band members never forget.

Go State! Beat Buckeyes!

Baritone Awareness Week


This is a baritone

The baritone section is doing something pretty special this year.

Every year, the week before Homecoming is dubbed Baritone Awareness Week by the Blue Band baritones. They feel the baritone is an underrepresented instrument. Their goal is to make the whole world (or at least the Penn State population) aware that the baritone is a real instrument and not a baby tuba.

This year, Baritone Awareness Week (#BAW2013) is taking a different approach to bringing awareness to their instrument.

For every person that “attends” the Facebook event, the section will donate $.05 to THON, Penn State’s dance marathon benefiting pediatric cancer. This is a quick and easy way to help out THON as well as raise awareness for the baritone!

Do your part by going here and click that you are attending the event.

Note: there is not actual event, just a Facebook “event.”