Jack Williams is a freshman journalism major and writes "Gist with Jack" for the Daily News. His views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Jack at jgwilliams@bsu.edu

The Pride of Mid-America Marching band puts on a different set of events for Ball State’s Family Weekend. The families of band members get to have an up close and personal experience with “The Pride” on this special weekend.

The events began on Friday evening when families were invited to the “Fifth Annual School of Music Showcase” in Sursa Performance Hall. The show featured many of the university’s musical groups and for the first time would include the marching band. The marching band closed the showcase by playing  the school fight song and a collective singing of the alma mater from all the performing groups.

Jack Williams

The next morning, families would meet at Scheumann Stadium to watch the band do their game day rehearsal. What the families didn't know was that they were going to be doing some work on the field, too. Families were invited on to the field to be taught the march-off from the halftime show by their Pride family member.

“It was cool to teach my grandma and my sisters the [march-off],” sophomore Olivia Woolard said. “My grandma marched back in high school and so did one of my sisters, so watching them adapt to how we march was interesting.”

After the rehearsal, families met outside the stadium for a lunch provided by the band. Families also had other opportunities to see their child perform before the game at the Cardinal Walk, where they walked the football team in, and at Charlie Town in the Alumni Center.

After the pre-pre-game festivities, it was time for the band to take the field for the pre-game performance. Families were encouraged to wear their red “Pride of Mid-America Family Day” T-shirts to the game and took their seats in their designated section right next to the band.

As halftime came around, the Pride took the field to perform their half time show “Musicals.” As the show went about as a typical marching band show would go, the final arrangement had a special dedication to the parents. While the band usually performs to the west side of Scheumann, the band had turned around to the west side of the stadium to perform the final piece of “You Can’t Stop the Beat” to the family section.

The band families left Ball State this weekend after spending time with their loved ones in Muncie, but they also received the opportunity to be a part of the band game day experience overall. One thing is for sure — most parents can say “I had marched with my child’s college marching band.”