13 years ago
Richard-Michael Manuel

There might not be a football team at UTD, but at least we’ve got a band.

After meeting in Wind Ensemble class, Melissa Lent, sophomore behavioral and brain sciences major, and Konrad Mueller, freshman biology major, decided to work together to create UTD’s first-ever Comet Band.

Lent said she hopes the Comet Band can become part of the spirit community that includes the cheerleaders, Power Dancers and the mascot, Temoc. The band, she said, will focus on “spirit music” such as “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Charleston,” Gary Glitter’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll, Pt. 2” and other fun, upbeat songs.

The band hopes to make its debut this fall, but Lent said they’ve had their share of hurdles to overcome.

Funding continues to be a big issue, Lent said, adding that the group has conducted several fundraisers including a recently concluded magazine subscription drive. Band members have been contacting area businesses and the group plans to participate in an upcoming university telethon.

The group needs around $2,000 to perform publicly, which includes the purchase of percussion instruments.

“We almost have enough to make a purchase,” Lent said.

Members currently provide their own instruments, while others do not own any. According to Lent, one of the drawbacks to being student led is that the students have to find funds themselves.

While it is an upward battle, the group is positive about the future.

“In high school you have someone telling you what to do,” Mueller said. “Here, at the University level, there’s a realization that you can pursue what you like. You have to find people who are willing to work together.”

Group members take turns conducting, instead of having a dictatorial director, as one might find in high school, Lent said.

Lent added she hopes the band could eventually move into marching and begin entering competitions. At that point, an official director or conductor would be necessary for the group to function.

Other Comet Band officers recognize that each step requires work, but they are determined to continue making the Comet Band a reality.

“It’s been surprising, because it’s slow and it’s grueling, but you see this enormous potential and it’s growing,” Mueller said.

Students interested in joining may contact Lent via email at utd_comet_band-owner@yahoogroups.com or by phone at 214-223-5140.