Members of the Spirit Marching Band, a University of New Mexico musical ensemble, regularly perform and energize Lobo crowds during games and other events on campus and around the UNM community.

The band enlivens Lobo fans during sports events and before and after games with their loud music, halftime shows and spirit. They take center stage on the field before kickoff and during halftime at football games, drive school spirit in the student section during games and perform in the tailgate lots.

Brandon Rowe, Spirit Marching Band’s third-year co-drum major, said his role as a conductor of the show is to make sure the band has high energy and that they stay on task. He said this year the Spirit Marching Band has around 120 UNM student participants from a variety of majors and backgrounds — not just performance arts and music education majors.

The band practices roughly 12 hours a week —  not factoring in mandatory individual practice — on their shows at Johnson Field and in their free time in order to be prepared to perform in front of large crowds at the stadium.

This year, one of the band’s shows features a collection of Journey songs including "Separate Ways" and "Don’t Stop Believing." They will also be performing a Latin jazz show for the 42nd annual Zia Marching Band Fiesta and subsequent football games. The competition is organized and run by UNM for high school marching bands across New Mexico and the greater Southwest.

UNM students who participate in Spirit Marching Band have the opportunity to earn class credit for their work by enrolling in a music class, but students do not have to be music majors to participate. Students participating in the marching band also receive a stipend starting at around $500 depending on level of experience and how long they have been a member of the band.

Students who participate in the Spirit Marching Band also have the opportunity to perform at other events on campus, including Freshman Family Day and Red Rally. Rowe said marching band can be a unique experience because it gives people a place to call home and have fun.

Rowe said for him, being in marching band is a rewarding experience because he could see how much progress he made over the years and seasons.

"The most rewarding thing is being around a group of people as you’re working hard everyday," Rowe said. "Every single day isn’t going to be a great day: There are always going to be difficult times, whether it's the weather or just not clicking that day. So, at the end of the season when you add those days up, and compare (them) to the good days you had, you can see how much progress you made throughout the entire season.”

Amanda Britt is the photo editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at or on Twitter @AmandaBritt_