This semester the Mount’s Athletic Pep Band got a new director, Robert Maag. The last director, Terrell Smith, had left not even two weeks into the semester after the band's first performance in August. The band members worked hard to preserve the state of the band without a director up until recently. Maag came just in time for the basketball season to help with the first home games of the season.
The pep band members shared their experience without a director. One of the band leaders, Scott Patrick (C’26) said, “I would say it was difficult, but we had no choice, so we had to adapt to work best with our skills. To work as a team or otherwise it would have gone down the drain.”
Cheyenne McGowan (C’24) and the social media coordinator for the band said, “It was interesting… It was student ran. It was a little funny getting started cause everyone would joke. It was overall fun, and it made some of us closer because it was learning the music and relying on each other. It was like growing trust I would say.”
Another band leader, Jack Lawler (C’24), shared, “It was definitely a challenge. Not many of us had conducting experience and many of us had to learn. Despite it being such a challenge, we were able to figure it out with help from athletics and non-leadership band members.”
The Mount’s Pep Band worked diligently as the semester carried on without a pep band director and grew closer. They worked really hard to make sure their music would outshine their struggle.
The new Athletic Pep Band Director Maag shared some of his background. “I grew up in Nebraska. I now live in Carlisle, Pa. I retired from public education this year. I have four children and three grandkids.” Maag commutes to the Mount from Carlisle, Pa. to come and show his dedication and passion has for music and the Pep Band.
Maag also shared his interest in music. He stated his taste is, “In general everything and anything. I am not a fan of country music. I play drums. I can actually play all [instruments] some better than others.”
Maag revealed his education as well. He obtained his degree in music education from the University of Nebraska. Maag also completed his master’s at Indiana University in Pennsylvania and got his degree in music performance. Maag enjoys directing and conducting music. He says, “I was a high school band director for 38 years. I love it [directing]. It is a lot of fun.” It is obvious how much Maag has a passion for directing and enjoys it. When asked how he ended up at the Mount, his response was, “Fr. Moran told me about it, now I’m here at the Mount.”
Maag, moving forward wishes to elevate the band. His goals are to, "Try to make it a better group. Try to increase our numbers and have as much fun as we can with as many people as we can.”
The band members are also excited to have him as they can see his excitement and passion. Patrick said, “I like him. I think we will definitely grow as a band with him because without a band director we were stagnant. His passion and wanting us to grow will drive us there.”
Not only is Maag approachable and joyful, but he also brings a lot of hope for the future to pep band members. Lawler said, “I am excited for the potential he brings. They admire the recruiting tactics and think he will attract a lot of students to join the pep band.
The Mount’s Athletic Pep Band has worked hard through a great deal of struggles making them much stronger, much louder and much closer. Maag is talented, experienced and excited to join the Mount community. He started his career at the Mount with a big commotion at the first women’s basketball game. His skills shine very well with the Athletic Pep Band and the Mount community is excited for what the future entails for pep band.