EMU Marching Band plans to amplify community voices with a gospel music halftime show on Sept. 24

The EMU Marching Band enters the football field through the tunnel.
(EMU file photo)

Ypsilanti – On Saturday, Sept. 24, the EMU Marching Band will collaborate with the EMU Gospel Choir, the EMU Choir, the Wayne State University Choir, and local vocalists to present a gospel music halftime show. The show, entitled “Take Me To Church,” will take place at Rynearson Stadium during halftime of the EMU Eagles versus Buffalo Bulls football game. 

Game time for the Sept. 24 game has not been set yet. Per Mid-American Conference broadcasting rules, game times are announced 12 days prior to the scheduled game. 

Marching Band Open Rehearsal graphicAttendees will hear several classic gospel tunes including “You Are Good,” “I Need You to Survive,” “I’ve Got the Victory,” and an acapella rendition of “Amazing Grace.” 

“In Detroit and Ypsilanti, gospel music has a very strong presence,” said J. Nick Smith, EMU associate director of bands and director of athletic bands. “Regardless of one’s connection to the words or tunes, I find the music to be very impactful. So, in our goal of offering a variety of genres of music during our halftime shows we are going to take full advantage of celebrating, as organically as possible, music from our own community—and, it’s going to be incredible.”

A rehearsal is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 23 at 6:30 p.m. at Rynearson Stadium. All are welcome. No tickets or registration are required.

“What viewers will see is not a performance; it is an active rehearsal;” said Smith. “It’ll be good for people who are curious about how this all happens and what the band does to bring the show together.”

Those willing to donate $50 or more to the EMU Marching Band can observe the Sept. 23 rehearsal from inside the press box. Snacks will be provided, and donors will have an opportunity to interact with band directors. Donors can register to watch the rehearsal from the press box at emich.edu/behindthecurtain.

Student drum major Amara Booker is looking forward to the opportunity to put on this show. 

“As a student, there’s a lot of work that goes into putting together each of our halftime shows,” said Booker. “Opportunities like this, which allow us to collaborate with the community around us and put out a great product for everyone to enjoy, are what makes it so rewarding.”

The EMU Marching Band has a long tradition of musical and entertainment excellence. "The Pride of the Peninsula," made up of more than 150 students representing nearly every major on campus, boasts a rich, 128-year history of serving Eastern at athletic functions, parades, and events. For more information on The Pride of the Peninsula, visit the band’s website emumb.org.

About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 15,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.

August 31, 2022

Written by:
Andrew Fogle

Brittany Mobley