Band director’s perspective on Strake game events

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To the Editor:

In response to the conduct of the crowd at the Strake half-time show (“School spirit taken too far,” Issue 83-1), I believe the whole student body needs a bit of education. I have a feeling that many believed that the Strake band deserved the treatment that they received since they “provoked indecency”.

First of all, thanks for your support. The Strake game was the first time that the STHS band received applause from the student body when going on to the field during halftime. If you have never watched and listened to the STHS halftime show, you are missing a unique experience from a high school band. We do something different every week and the group works hard to bring it to you.

Bands from schools have always performed at halftime. It is tradition and a sign of respect for the visiting school to perform toward the Home (press box) side and to exit the same side to acknowledge the applause. Marching off to their fight song is another tradition that is perfectly acceptable. The Strake band did what all bands have done since the advent of the halftime performance.

Strake Jesuit has not performed at half-time as far as I know since they started the program 25 years ago. This was there first year since I’ve been here (1999). They did what they were supposed to and were accused of “provoking” and creating a “bawdy attempt of mockery (?)”. The incident was not “quickly forgotten and disregarded upon witnessing our reaction”. In fact, it created a firestorm of problems for the administration and the STH music department.

With all due respect to Coach Netzel, we did not win the good conduct award for the Strake game. Either through ignorance or disrespect, the crowd showed that they were no different and certainly no better than Strake. We can do much better St. Thomas.

Donald Thoede
Fine Arts

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