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Tip Sheet for the week of Aug. 28, 2006

RELEASED: Aug. 28, 2006

Story Idea
With nearly 200 members, the Blugold Marching Band is now the second largest NCAA Division III college marching band in America. Other than UW-Madison's Badger Band, the Blugold Marching Band is by far the largest band in the UW System. The band has undergone a major transformation under the direction of Randal Dickerson, who came to UW-Eau Claire in 2000. A more energetic style of marching was introduced and the band has become one of the most active organizations on campus. The unusual marching style combines the precision and artistry of drum and bugle corps with the energy of the great show bands of the south. UW-Eau Claire has had a marching band for more than 50 years. In 1968, the university began offering degrees in music and all instrumental music majors were required to join the College Band. In the early 1970s, the band grew to about 120 members. But its popularity declined in the 1990s and music majors were no longer required to participate. By 2000, the Blugold Marching Band had just 60 members, 59 of whom were music education majors fulfilling a degree requirement. Since that time, the band has experienced a rebirth that's brought its size and quality to a new level. The band has more than tripled in size, updated its appearance with new uniform accessories, added dancers and twirlers, and increased its performance schedule to include several exhibitions a year. As the enthusiasm increased, so did the number of non-music majors who joined the band. Non-majors now outnumber majors. Members of the Blugold Marching Band have returned to campus and are busy preparing for their upcoming season. For details, contact Randal Dickerson at 715-836-2312 or dickerrc@uwec.edu.

Story/Photo Ideas
Many activities are planned this week on campus to kick off the new academic year. The following are just a few of the events that could provide story and/or photo opportunities.

Thursday, Aug. 31

  • Residence halls open for new freshmen at 7 a.m.
  • A picnic for new freshmen begins at 6 p.m. on the Central Campus Mall.
  • A convocation for new freshmen will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Zorn Arena. Dr. Joe Martin will be the featured speaker.

Friday, Sept. 1

  • Residence halls open for upperclassmen and transfer students at 8 a.m.
  • A CUBEfest Kickoff Picnic will begin at 4:30 p.m. behind Towers Hall.

Saturday, Sept. 2

  • A carnival will run from noon-4 p.m. behind Governor's hall on upper campus.
  • A Two to Tango Social Dance will run from 7-11 p.m. on the Hilltop tennis courts on upper campus.
  • An outdoor movie will begin at 9 p.m. behind Sutherland Hall on upper campus.

Sunday, Sept. 3

  • Students will tie dye from noon-4 p.m. behind Governor's Hall on upper campus.
  • The Fiesta del Blugold! will run from 5-9 p.m. behind Putnam on lower campus.

Photo/Story Idea
A number of students will spend Labor Day helping with community projects. Students will volunteer at Big Falls County Park, the Chippewa and Eau Claire County humane associations, and Bolton Refuge House. Paula Stuettgen is coordinating "Labor of Love." She can provide details about projects and times. You can reach her at 715-836-4803 or stuettpj@uwec.edu.

Calendar Items
UW-Eau Claire offices will be closed Monday, Sept. 4, for the Labor Day holiday.

Classes for the 2006-07 academic year will begin Tuesday, Sept. 5.

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