"Hail Purdue: had a new twist at the Nov. 10-11 Purdue women’s volleyball and basketball games. For the first time cellos and violins stood alongside trumpets as they performed the university fight song. "It was definitely different," said cellist Sarah Culp, a junior agriculture education major from Goshen, who was recruited out of the Purdue Symphony Orchestra to fill pep band musician slots usually filled by marching band brass and woodwind players. With the Purdue "All-American" Marching Band accompanying the Boilermakers to East Lansing for the Michigan State game, the band department needed help. To meet its long-standing obligation to the volleyball team, it turned to its concert band and orchestra musicians. "I think it’s about time that we got to do something like this," said Culp, who was one of about a dozen Purdue string players attempting "Hail Purdue" for the good of the team. No string parts are available for the tune, so the musicians had to use trombone, baritone or tuba parts. Although the classically-minded musicians had fun with it, they don’t expect "Hail Purdue" for strings to catch on. Purdue Band members believe the "pep orchestra" to be the world’s first such collegiate ensemble. But attempts to get the Guinness Book of World Records to consider the accomplishment, following its premiere, fell short.
-Story by Kathy Matter for Purdue Bands