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Recruiting NDC's Marching Band

St. Patrick’s Day 2010: just another day in the Admissions Office at Notre Dame College? Not exactly. This year, the admissions staff is focused on recruiting new members for its marching band; and there is no better place to find marching band students than at the Cleveland St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

NDC admissions counselors pose with Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson during the St. Patrick's Day parade.The admissions staff and Band Director Jody Besse left campus around 11:30 a.m. on March 17, with an arsenal of Notre Dame College applications, band scholarship flyers, and various goodies to hand out to band members and the more than 20,000 parade participants and spectators.

They stuck out like sore thumbs, their royal-blue garb in a sea of green. The diligent group even caught the attention of Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson who posed for a photo with the admissions team. By 3 p.m., the staff had exhausted all of the handouts and had helped spread word of the excitement at NDC.

“We were a small group in the midst of tens of thousands, but we turned heads,” Admissions Counselor Nick Formica said. “Our mission was successful running from bus to bus to share the news of our band. In the fashion of Notre Dame College, we had a lot of fun doing it.”

Fun is also what Notre Dame’s marching band offers in addition to a significant financial incentive. The College offers scholarships of up to $10,000 per year for first-year students and transfers who join the marching band. But current students are also encouraged to join the band program, which is in its second semester at NDC.

“We have enjoyed a successful first semester and now look to talented students to establish a pioneer program at one of the fastest growing private college’s in the Greater Cleveland area,” Besse said. “Not only will our students enjoy an affordable, catholic, liberal arts education, they will also have the opportunity to make history as they build and grow Notre Dame’s first scholarship band program.”

Notre Dame's marching band is in its second semester.Under Besse’s leadership, the band’s trumpets, flutes and drums have already become an integral part of campus life. This fall, the band will set the tone for the inaugural intercollegiate season of Falcon football.

“Already, students from throughout Ohio and other states work to establish an organization of which we can all be proud,” Besse said. “Becoming a member of this Falcon band will be a wonderful opportunity as the College’s football team will play its first intercollegiate season in 2010.”

Besse has been busy visiting local high schools to recruit band members for all instruments, color guard members and twirlers. He has hosted color guard and percussion clinics, the next of which will take place on April 17, and he invites interested students to sign up for scholarship auditions. On April 24, he will also host an open house where students will perform with current and prospective band members, get measured for the new uniform, and tour the campus.

Those students interested in wearing the brand-new Notre Dame band uniform next semester, should fill out an online application.