Student Impact Stories


Jeremy Steiner-Otoo

Major/Year: Junior studying Audio Engineering Technology

Ensemble: Bass Drum in the “All-American” Marching Band, Clarinet in the Collegiate Band, and Percussion Ensemble

I honestly have no idea what my experience at Purdue would be like without Purdue Bands & Orchestras. From scholarships, to leadership opportunities, travel and more, this department has really impacted my life for the better. It was really nice, last year especially, to be able to have such a large group of friends that I know I can trust and hang out with.

My favorite experience I’ve had so far in this department was the “All-American” Marching Band’s trip to Colombia. Spending a week in such an amazing country was an amazing opportunity that I know I’ll never forget. I was able to spent time with great musicians and friends, and we had many opportunities that I would never have while in the US. If I had to describe the trip in one word it would be “wild.” Each day we were in Colombia was a totally different adventure. At one moment we were touring a museum of a great South American artist, the next we were dancing with locals at the top of a mountain range. I am extremely thankful that I got go on the trip and especially grateful to all who made it a possibility.


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Jonathan Webb

Major/Year: Sophomore studying Aerospace Engineering

Ensemble: Percussion in the Purdue Jazz Band and Symphony Orchestra

I decided to get involved with music in college because the performing arts have always been a passion of mine. I have always felt at home sitting behind the drum set and wanted to continue to perform in a friendly environment, while actively pursuing my dreams of working in the aerospace industry. The Purdue Bands & Orchestras department has been one of the most accepting groups I’ve encountered on campus thus far. The students and staff are by far some of the kindest and most genuine people at Purdue University.

Some of the great opportunities have included performing on Slayter Hill before football games, playing exciting jazz and jaw-dropping classical music at Loeb Playhouse, as well as performances with combos at Mariott Hall and the Purdue Memorial Union. These performances provide a different approach to jazz music, which is something I enjoy.


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Alexa Phillips

Major/Year: Senior studying Animal Science, Pre-Vet

Ensemble: Golden Girl Feature Twirler

The Purdue Bands & Orchestras department has been a huge part of my experience at Purdue. Because of this program, I have grown as a person, and excelled as a leader, as well as a performer. I have gained qualities such as improvement in public speaking, professional mannerisms, and learning how to represent Purdue and the “All-American” Marching Band the best way I possibly can.

This department specifically has given me a chance to pursue an education at one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Without my scholarships and financial aid, coming to Purdue for experiences of a life-time would have never been possible.


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Aaron Yoder

Major/Year: Senior studying Management and Marketing

Ensemble: Trumpet in the “All-American” Marching Band, American Music Repertory Ensemble, and Wind Ensemble

I knew that wherever I went to college I did not want to give up music. It played such a big part in my life growing up and especially in high school. The Purdue Bands & Orchestras program played a big role in my decision to attend Purdue University. I could pursue a business degree and explore different interests academically, while continuing to develop musically as well. Even though Purdue does not have a music school, the ensembles still perform at a very high level. Knowing that I could continue to improve my musical abilities at a collegiate level, while meeting a ton of new people, was an awesome opportunity for me. Since joining I have met a lot amazing people and had some great experiences performing in pretty cool venues! It certainly has been a wonderful experience for me and I am thankful I decided to join.

In October 2015, I got to travel to Indianapolis with the “All-American” Marching Band as the halftime entertainment for the Indianapolis Colts vs. New England Patriots game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Although I had marched there before with my high school marching band, this performance was unlike any of those times before. Performing for a crowd of over 65,000 people was absolutely amazing! I never would have guessed that going to my first Colts game would mean being the halftime entertainment for it, but I am sure it is an experience I will never forget.

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