If you’ve ever been to a Terrier men’s or women’s hockey or basketball game, you’ve heard the BU Pep Band in action. Comprising approximately 150 undergrad and graduate students, the Pep Band (typically two bands with the same number of musicians) performs about 125 times a year. In addition to athletic events (the band is an integral part of the Dog Pound, the men’s hockey team fan section), the ensemble performs each April at all the open houses for accepted students and for events hosted by the BU Alumni Association, Dining Services, and the Dean of Students office.
They’ve even performed on the Esplanade, when Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps was there for an event in 2016, and for New England Patriots fundraisers for multiple sclerosis research. And they’ve partnered with Boston public school students, including the Marching Band from Boston English High School.
The Pep Band’s repertoire of more than 100 songs includes such staples as the Henry Mancini theme from the 1950s TV show Peter Gunn, “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” by the Dropkick Murphys, and “Centerfold” by the J. Geils Band. The songs are designed to get the crowds moving and dancing, says Aaron Goldberg, director of BU athletic bands.
BU Today asked band members to come up with some favorites for a Spotify playlist. Among the songs they chose are “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé and Jay-Z, “Toxic” by Britney Spears, and Bruce Channel’s classic “Hey! Baby,” which the band plays whenever the BU basketball or ice hockey teams win a game.
“I knew if our crowds at the basketball and hockey games liked these songs, then people would enjoy listening to them on Spotify,” says Pep Band manager Alex Mowen (CAS), a senior tuba player who began playing with the band as a freshman.
Listen to the Pep Band’s playlist below.