University pep band brings games to life at the M&T Bank Arena

A big crowd can make or break the energy at any game.

The eruption of cheers when a shot is scored and wafting groans when the shot is missed come together to create the ultimate athletics experience. Fueling the crowd's energy at the M&T Bank Arena on the York Hill Campus is Quinnipiac's pep band, affectionately known as "Pep," by its members.

“Being part of the pep band was an experience like none other,” said Thomas Perry ’20, MS ’22. “The ability to travel across the country, create life-long friendships and countless memories is the icing on the cake of a great Quinnipiac experience.”

Members of the 25-person pep band start each season in the arena, spending about two dozen weekends each year in the building playing classics such as “Tequila” and “Counting Stars.”

Most of their recruitment comes from self-promotion and the university-wide fall engagement fair each September, but for some members, joining seems like it was destiny.

Tyler Horvath ’22, MS ’23, knew he wanted to get involved with the pep band before he even became a Bobcat.

His first-year roommate, Evan Voyer ’22, MS ’23, however, took some convincing.

Initially planning on not playing saxophone in college, Horvath’s involvement was all it took to get Voyer to join.

“The opportunity to work with a group of people who depend on each other to make something is amazing,” said Voyer, now co-director with Horvath. “Being co-director takes a lot of paying attention, preparation and being there for the band, and while it’s a lot of work and responsibility, it’s also fun.”

Horvath said he agrees on that front.

“It’s a perfect break from my schedule of STEM classes and allows me to be more creative. Pep has improved my school spirit and given me a sense of camaraderie, plus I get to hang out with friends for hours each weekend," he said.

The band's efforts help make for some of the most memorable experiences at the arena, too.

The pep band's work extends well beyond the weekends in the M&T Bank Arena when the athletics teams advance to the post season, the band travels with them.

For Perry, who was part of the band before the pandemic, games in New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, and California were all a part of his first-year experience.

Lake Placid, New York, home of the ECAC Men’s Ice Hockey Championship and site of the 1932 and 1980 Olympic Games, is a pep band favorite.

“It’s like Disney for hockey fans. To be able to experience one of the most historic hockey towns in the country with my friends is a memory I will cherish forever,” Perry said.

The Pep Band will be cheering on the Women's Ice Hockey team in the ECAC Semifinals at Yale on March 3rd.

No matter how far they go, the band agrees that the best place to play is home — surrounded by members of #BobcatNation.

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