ACU’s Big Purple Marching Band is performing a concert, bringing the rhythm and rhyme of classical music to campus on Thursday beginning at 8 p.m. in Cullen Auditorium.
The Big Purple is ACU’s marching band, which consists of 120 students of various majors. The band, established in the 1960s, gives this concert performance every year, in addition to performing at every home football game. Thursday’s concert will mark the end of the marching band season this year.
“I think it’s also the heartbeat and the spirit of the university,” said Jason Missal, Associate Director of Bands and Director of the Big Purple.
The first song the Band will present is titled “Canzon Noni Toni,” a Renaissance piece written in 1597. Another piece of music, “Whip and Spur Galop,” was written in the early 20th century. It is a quick-paced, circus-style march. Other pieces include Salvation Is Created, a slow and lyrical piece originally written for choirs and based on a Russian hymn, and Tempered Steel, an exciting and rhythmic piece written for the contemporary wind ensemble.
Members of The Big Purple practice five times a week, and Missal appreciates how dedicated the band members are.
“These students are a tremendously gifted and generous group of people who always have good attitudes and always work hard,” Missal said. “Besides playing music, the band as a whole is known for doing community service projects like helping with the highway maintenance; and they also raise money to buy gifts for kids during Christmas.”
Clint Morgan, senior music education major from Baird, has been involved in The Big Purple since his freshman year. Now he plays trombone in the band, an instrument he has been playing for about 11 years.
“The band is like a family for me,” Morgan said. “Joining the band is a great way to participate with other musicians, and it is a lot of fun to do it together. We practice every day from 12 to 12:45. It takes a lot of time to practice, but I enjoy it so much so I don’t mind.”
Leanna Dickey, senior music education major from Abilene, plays trumpet in the band. She also appreciates the family feel amongst members of The Big Purple.
“I love the band; it’s like a big family,” Dickey said. ” Being in ACU’s band is really helping me overcome performance anxiety. I got shaky when performing in front of people, but being with a group like a family really helps me overcome it.”
The concert is free of charge, and everyone is welcome to attend.