UTSA marching band tunes up for Sept. 3 inaugural football home opener

drum majors

From left are UTSA drum majors Alana Urbano, Annie Moras and Sydney Corbin.
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(June 3, 2011)--A new era will begin next fall when the UTSA Roadrunners football team hits the Alamodome turf for the first time in its inaugural season home opener Sept. 3 against Northeastern State.

It's not only the beginning of a new tradition for the UTSA football program, but it also will mark the official debut of the new UTSA marching band under Ron Ellis, director of athletics bands.

Ellis came to UTSA last year, after 20 years leading the 308-member University of Central Florida Marching Knight band. He has been busy over the last year recruiting new members, selecting new equipment and uniforms, and updating the university's fight song.

"We want to honor the words and keep the old version alive, but add to it, so it's a fight song we can be proud of," said Ellis. "We will have a bigger, dramatic fanfare at the beginning and a faster tempo with additional instruments included."

Musical tryouts are set to begin in July, but this spring more than 30 students auditioned to fill the drum major positions that would lead the inaugural marching band. The students selected are junior drum majors Sydney Corbin and Alana Urbano and freshman Annie Moras.

"This is great and I am so excited," said Moras. "We are all energetic and passionate about it, so I think we will be good representatives of what the marching band should be."

All three were drum majors in their high school bands and are thrilled to be part of a new era at UTSA.

"I was actually the last drum major of South San West Campus High School that shut down in 2008, so it's neat that I was able to close out that history and now begin this new one at UTSA," said Urbano.

Corbin has been playing in ensembles and pep bands over the last three years, and welcomes the challenge ahead.

"I think it is going to give everyone chills because I don't think anyone can anticipate how that environment is going to be," said Corbin. "The loud, huge crowd, the pride -- it's going to be amazing."

According to Ellis, more that 250 students have expressed an interest in playing with the UTSA marching band with more expected from the incoming freshman class.

Band practice will begin Aug. 14 with eight days of 12-hour instruction in preparation for the Sept. 3 opener.