Pride runs deep for director of University of Oklahoma marching band

Update: The gameday schedule on our Events calendar has now been corrected to match Saturday’s actual rehearsal and performance times, including the Boomer Bash pep band, which we left off for unknown reason.

The Oklahoman ran a nice feature in today’s Sunday Living section on alumnus (and, of course, Director of The Pride of Oklahoma) Brian Britt. Some excerpts:

One hot day in the north end zone of Owen Field, Britt knew this would become his life’s work. It was 1984, and he had been recruited to help teach a complex routine to the OU percussionists. It was painstaking work, but once the players were able to execute the drill flawlessly, Britt knew he wanted to pursue music as a career.

… Britt relies on six graduate assistants and two dozen student leaders to drill small groups of players in every aspect of a new routine. Once learned, these sections can be strung together to create the pomp and pageantry of a visually stunning halftime show.

This season, The Pride of Oklahoma will offer tributes to the rock band The Who, the music of Duke Ellington, a patriotic show and an iPod shuffle [show] that will feature tunes that might be found on a student’s digital music player.

“There are benefits to doing themed shows and more eclectic shows,” Britt said. “With an eclectic show, you have the potential to reach a broader audience. With a themed show, you often lock in on a specific demographic. Our job is to play with a lot of energy and do as varied a repertoire as we can. With fans ranging from elementary age kids to octogenarians, we hope they will hear something … that resonates with them.

“To watch these players have so many amazing experiences, individually and collectively, to see them begin to develop adult thought processes and problem-solving skills, to send them out of this place to be community leaders regardless of their chosen profession, that is at the heart of why I do this.”

You can always use our site to drop Brian Britt an E-mail, but keep in mind that since the first home game is this Saturday, and that the band was selected just this past Wednesday night, there’s an awful lot going on this week, so responses might be delayed. :-):

The “iPod Shuffle” show is up first this year, and we’ll have more details on it as Saturday approaches. We don’t have the full gameday schedule Check out the gameday schedule on our Events calendar; as the article notes, the pre-game concert is 90 minutes before kickoff. This weekend, that means 4:30 PM on the lawn north of Jacobsen Hall. You can also see The Pride Friday night at this year’s Big Red Rally, and of course, during the game against the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga. We hope to see you at some or all of these performances as the 2008 Pride of Oklahoma carries on our tradition!