Who wears hockey jerseys and keeps us entertained at sporting events? The Illinois State Pep Band!

I was given the opportunity to play drums in the Pep Band, and it was a blast. This great ensemble gave me the opportunity to earn course credit, and take part in one of the most energetic groups on campus.

Cheers never fail

In addition to our well-spirited No. 1 student section and cheer team, the band adds even more excitement to games at Redbird Arena. In fact, the band often helps initiate several cheers.

For instance, there is the classic “free throw” cheer where someone in the band yells “One two three four!” and everyone in the band and student section follows by doing synchronized motions as one of our Redbirds puts the shot up. Plus, we are always yelling in excitement, along with the student section.

Pep Band performs

The Pep Band performs during the ISU-Bradley game at Redbird Arena in 2015.


Aside from his duties as assistant director of athletic bands and percussion at Illinois State, Ben Stiers is also the current director of the Pep Band. Stiers communicates to Athletics marketing staff in his headset about when to cue the band to play, since the schedule for the game is broken down into a script.

Did you know this is what keeps everything in line when you sit down to watch the Redbirds?

Variety of tunes

Now you may ask, “What exactly does the band play?” Something I’m proud of is that we have a very good mix of songs. From “Hey Baby” to “All I Do is Win,” you will always be pleased. We choose to play different songs from classic pep band tunes to Illinois State traditions, and even play songs that we hear on the radio every day!

Exciting to all

There are almost 130 students enrolled in Pep Band this semester, and the band never fails to miss a beat. With multiple bands taking turns performing at various sporting events, it is guaranteed that the Illinois State pep band will always be excited.


One thing I noticed was that Pep Band is not just a class or ensemble, but a community. In just one semester, I was able to meet several people who share my love for band. It’s definitely a group that is very welcoming and I took pride in being apart of it!

#BirdofMouth blogger Steven Greeneberg is a freshman mass media major. Read more #BirdofMouth blog posts.