Ode to the SLU Pep Band


The pep band works hard during basketball games to keep the crowd engaged.

You may hear them before you see them, but rest assured, they are there in Chaifetz Arena at every home basketball game. They are the ever-entertaining men and women of the Saint Louis University Pep Band. Made up of current students and alumni alike, this group often provides the energy that the SLUNatics need to carry on energetic and motivating cheers that inspire the crowd and the players. Many pep band members invent their own cheers and taunts that have become running gags, particularly when certain players on opposing teams give questionable performances.

But the Pep Band does not limit itself to merely playing at SLU basketball games. Last Thursday night, the band spent some time at a Cardinals game along with the cheer squad and the men’s basketball team, where they performed some of their signature songs and cheers near Riverfront Corner to entertain fans. Though not all of the band was in attendance, the players who were there made their instrumentation work and had fun playing such staples as “Vehicle,” “I’m A Man,” and, of course, SLU’s unofficial theme song, “When the Saints Go Marching In.”

In the regular season, the pep band keeps the energy of game nights at Chaifetz during commercial breaks and timeouts, halftime, and the all-important half-hour prior to game time when fans are entering. Despite the fact that they are a large organization numbering near two hundred members, SLU’s pep band just has something about it that speaks to family, fun, and good times.

Freshman John Karey may not have been with the band for very long, but he has been in pep bands before. When asked what he is enjoying about his experience thus far, he said, “What I’ve always liked about pep band is the family feel.” This sense of camaraderie already apparent to Karey is something that many of the other members can relate to as well.

SLU alumnus Perry Anselman, who can often be heard playing loud and high-pitched trumpet solos and exercising the full potential of his instrument, affirms that what keeps him coming back is that he “love[s] basketball and [loves] playing trumpet.” He adds simply that “it’s just plain fun.”

Such an infectious spirit definitely inspires student members to keep coming back, like sophomore Ana Zeneli who looks forward to “playing fun music with all [her] friends and going to all the games.”

Now that “The World’s Greatest Pep Band” has been properly introduced, feel free to come check them out at basketball games this season! Just try not to get too carried away by their infectious optimism and spirit.