Letter: Head drum major responds to Nick McCain’s letter

Emerald File Photo

Emerald File Photo

Posted by Emerald on Tuesday, Jan. 29 at 11:31 am.

The following is a response to ASUO President Nick McCain’s letter to the Emerald regarding funding for the Oregon Athletic Band.

Dear Mr. McCain,

Thank you for your response to the recent outcry of support for the Oregon Athletic Bands. As you know, I have been heavily involved in the university — serving as Resident Assistant while being an assistant drum major to the Oregon Marching Band. However, after being the head drum major for the past two years as well as director of recruiting I feel that I need to bring one crucial misunderstanding to light.

In your letter you state: “But from a fiscal standpoint, the fact that the ASUO funds $150,000 for an entity that answers entirely to the Athletic Department is a big concern.” This statement — the fact that we answer entirely to the Athletic Department — is simply untrue.

Here is a list of events that the Oregon Athletic Band has performed at in the last few years. None of these events were “answering to” requests from the Athletic Department. These events show how we serve as diverse ambassadors of the University of Oregon and benefit past, present and future University of Oregon students:

Selected Campus Events (non-Athletic related)
Freshman Convocation
Soundbytes Concert Series
University Housing Pep Rally
Homecomeing Parade and Pep Rally
Friday Night Tailgates
University of Oregon Festival of Bands (25-30 High Schools)
School of Music – Groundbreaking for New Building
Ford Alumni Center – Dedication Ceremony
Lewis Integrative Science Building Opening Ceremony
Nike Toga Run (Civil War Week)
Bob Rauschenberg’s America (Theater Production)

Other (non-Athletic event) Performances (Off Campus)
Wheel of Fortune College Week
Oregon Music Educators State Conference
Pasadena Parade of Roses
Parade of Champions (City of Eugene)
Santa Monica Pier
Seattle Seahawks Halftime Performances
Reno Jazz Festival
Beijing 2008 Olympic Orchestra
Oregon Club Tailgate Auction
Eugene Marathon
Concerts with On the Rocks
Civil War March Through Campus
Pioneer Gala
Alumni Tailgate (Autzen Stadium)
Boy Scouts of America Tailgate (Home Football Games)
Presidents Tailgate Performances (Home Football Games)
Pick-Up Band Performances – High School and alumni

Beyond performing for our student body, we also play a key part in recruiting diverse students for our bands and ultimately for this university.

Winter Break Recruiting Visits

Students from the Athletic Bands visited these 50 high schools during the 2012 winter break. Our students talk to the high school students about the University of Oregon and what college in general is like. They also encourage the music students to consider joining the band, here or at whatever college they do attend.

2012 High Schools Visited:

Oregon (37):
Beaverton High School
Canby High School
Cascade Christian High School
Centennial High School
Churchill High School
Clackamas High School
Cleveland High School
Crater High School
Crow High School
David Douglass High School
Glencoe High School
Grant High School
Grants Pass High School
Hidden Valley High School
Hillsboro High School
Lake Oswego High School
Lakeridge High School
Liberty High School
Lincoln High School
North Medford High School
North Valley High School
Oregon City High School
Roseburg High School
Scappoose High School
Seaside High School
Sheldon High School
South Eugene High School
Southridge High School
Sprague High School
Springfield High School
Sunset High School
Thurston High School
Warrenton High School
West Linn High School
West Salem High School
Westview High School
Willamette High School

Washington (3):
Bellevue High School
Klahowya Secondary School
Newport High School

California (8):
Branham High School
Leigh High School
Menlo Atherton High School
Palos Verdes High School
Palos Verdes Penninsula High School
Pioneer High School
Santa Cruz High School
Woodland High School

Idaho (2):
Kuna High School
Wood River High School

Other Recruiting Activities:
Northwest Association for the Performing Arts Winter Events

Recruiting Performances:

In addition to winter recruiting events, the various Oregon Athletic Bands make a strong effort to set up performances at Oregon high schools and at schools in whatever areas our travels may take us. The list below represents just some of the schools we have visited on behalf of the University of Oregon.

Beaverton High School
Century High School
Grants Pass High School
Hermiston High School
Hillsboro High School
Ione Public Schools
Jefferson High School
Lake Oswego High School
Liberty High School
Oregon City High School
Sheldon High School
Southridge High School
The Dalles High School
West Albany High School
West Linn High School
West Salem High School
West View High School
Willamette High School

Outside Oregon:
Chino Hills High School (CA)
Coer D’Alene High School (ID)
Hanford High School (WA)
Lewiston High School (ID)
Lindberg High School (MO)
Mountlake Terrace High School (WA)
Newport High School (WA)
North Little Rock High School (AR)
Red Bluff Public Schools (CA)
Reno High School (NV)
Richland High School (WA)
Saguero High School (AZ)
South Little Rock High School (AR)

I appreciate your dialogue about the importance of a program which has so deeply changed my life. As a resident assistant, I saw first hand the difference the band made in events such as the Freshman Convocation or campus parades. Events which I know we both attended and felt positively benefited the campus body. I am looking forward to seeing you on Thursday night and wish you a stress-free week in your classes.


Daniel Hartley
Head Drum Major, Oregon Athletic Bands

  • uomatters

    Good letter, Mr. Hartley.

  • Alumnus

    Great letter. You’d think as a former UO ambassador himself, Mr. McCain would know what being a good ambassador entails. The OAB certainly qualifies.

  • Thankful Student

    This is EXACTLY what needed to be said. A program that does so much for individual students, for promoting a lively campus atmosphere and community, and for spreading an immense amount of positive publicity for the University all across the northwest deserves to be funded. If anything, the ASUO, Lamar Wise, and Nick McCain should be looking to increase funding for this organization.

  • Proud Duck

    Who pays for the University Ambassadors program? The Administration. If the band considers themselves ambassadors to the University, then I suggest the University pick up the funding. Also, I don’t think the ASUO pays for winter break and recruiting performances. So while that is all great stuff, being funded by the admin won’t prevent you from visiting your local high school next year to recruit.