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Stony Brook Marching Band Hits All the Right Notes

Spirit of Stony Brook11If the recipe for success is hard work, few can dispute that the Stony Brook Marching Band — with more than 50 performances per year — must be working very, very hard. And now, the world has taken notice.

Recently, the Marching Band, led by its director John Leddy, was named College Sports Madness Band of the Week. College Sports Madness is an up and coming independent college sports website that provides previews, insight, analysis and predictions for schools as small as Austin Peay State University (Tennessee) as well as for powerhouses such as Ohio State.

“I am thankful that the band has been accepted and adopted by everyone on campus,” said Leddy. “The energy provided by our campus community has been instrumental in getting us more and more attention outside of Stony Brook.”

A little more than six years ago, the band did not even exist. Formed in Fall 2006 with just 20 members, the band has grown to 150.

One strategy that led to increased exposure for the Marching Band was performing in post-season football and basketball games during the last three years, some of which were televised on ESPN.

In the past two years alone, the Marching Band has been featured in an episode of  “Extreme: Makeover Home Edition,” appeared in the New York City Columbus Day Parade, and performed at Madison Square Garden during a Stony Brook University men’s basketball game there. FIOS Channel 1 aired two stories on the band, and later this month, the band will be featured in a New York State Lotto commercial.

If you ask Leddy what caught College Sports Madness’ attention and led to the citation, he says, “It’s all Wolfie!” Stony Brook’s wildly popular mascot is another workaholic whose schedule, honors and recognition mirror the band’s. For example, Wolfie recently won the 2012 SUNY CUAD (Council for University Advancement) award for “Where in the World is Wolfie?”

Leddy’s group works closely with Wolfie, who joined the Marching Band and “played” in the drumline at basketball games. “The video for those performances got some play and one thing led to another,” said Leddy.

Anyone interested in catching a live upcoming performance can check out the Marching Band on Saturday, April 21, at 10 am at the SBU Sports Complex on Admitted Student Day, the Long Island State Veteran’s Home Pep Rally on May 2, or at the March for Babies on May 6, at 10 am (begins at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium).

— Glenn Jochum

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