Musical “standards” began to appear in the book, notably his arrangements of Tech Triumph (replacing the multiple versions being played) and The Hokie Pokie. They grew to be good friends, and their families shared camping trips at Glacier National Park. Marching Virginians Parents has 535 members. We look forward to having you on campus for a great day of Hokie football, an exciting performance, and a day of being a Marching Virginian. If you have any questions or comments regarding this website, please contact the webmaster. Virginia Tech | College of Liberal Arts & Human Sciences - Virginia Tech | Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts | VT Athletics© The Marching Virginians - Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He was a key player in the development of the band’s logo, working with James Sochinski and trumpet-playing architecture student Vic Dover in 1983. Official Facebook Page for The Marching Virginians at Virginia Tech. 2020-2021 Performance Schedule (TENTATIVE) - UPDATED 3/8/20. Under the direction of Roger Heath, the newly-created Marching Virginians band was over 100 strong and patterned after the fast-moving Big Ten bands, emphasizing pageantry, spirit, and high-energy entertainment. 6.6K likes. Hired in the spring of 1974, Roger Heath, the former Assistant Director of Bands at Purdue University, was charged with creating a new band on a campus where a (military) band had a long history of tremendous support from their alumni. When the band debuted on September 28, 1974, the new tradition at Virginia Tech was a mere ten days old! August 15 - Leadership arrive. The Eta Beta chapter, installed in 1974, and Zeta Omicron chapter, installed in 1979, are instrumental in providing support to The Marching Virginians, the University Concert Bands and the Virginia Tech Department of Music. Hired in 1977 to conduct the Highty-Tighties, Sochinski directed both bands during the fall of 1978 during a time when a proposal to combine the two bands was being developed by the administration. Sochinski’s ability to produce literally hundreds of arrangements for the band meant that the group was playing charts unique to themselves. Innovative show design established a unique "show band" style that became a trademark of the MVs. Unique arrangements of classical masterworks, rock and jazz standards, and movie themes formulated with thoughtful and immense attention to detail helped the MVs create a sound that was fresh and memorable at the same time. In the spring of 1986, Harry Price announced his resignation to assume a position as director of graduate studies in music education at the University of Alabama, and Virginia Tech offered McKee an interim position as Director of The Marching Virginians. As the current Head of the Department of Performing Arts and Communication, Tony was given a very special message: T. Marshall Hahn, Jr., the President of Virginia Tech, wanted an All-University Marching Band, and it was Tony's job to create one. To learn more about the history behind the creation of The Marching Virginians, please visit our History section. Tony Distler not only got the ball rolling, but he went on to play a very important role with the new band: its announcer and narrator. He was officially given the title "The Voice of The Marching Virginians". Prior to eight years of service at Purdue, Heath had gained a national reputation as a high school band director in Iowa and Montana. Sochinski initiated the signature music and visuals that have become part of the Hokie football tradition, including his arrangements of the VPI Victory March, the pregame Colors Presentation, and The Hokie Pokie. David McKee came to Virginia Tech in the fall of 1984 to pursue a graduate degree in music education. 1984 - Independence Bowl - Shreveport, LA, 1993 - Independence Bowl - Shreveport, LA, 2002 - San Francisco Bowl - San Francisco, CA (100-piece pep band), 2012 - Russell Athletic Bowl - Orlando, FL, 2015 - Independence Bowl - Shreveport, LA, Virginia Tech | College of Liberal Arts & Human Sciences - Virginia Tech | Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts | VT Athletics© The Marching Virginians - Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. The band attained a high profile in national venues while fostering a culture of professional musicianship, student leadership, high-energy performance, and public service. Heath expressed interest in the position himself – he wanted to have his own program rather than simply serve as an assistant to Al G. Wright at Purdue – interviewed and was offered the position. There is an error in the URL entered into your web browser. The Eta Beta chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi and Zeta Omicron chapter of Tau Beta Sigma are the National Honorary Band Service Fraternity and Sorority at Virginia Tech. Heath served as director of The Marching Virginians from 1974 until 1977; he passed away in Boulder, CO, on May 22, 2004. Those first seasons were not without growing pains, but excitement ran high in the group and the University community over this “new tradition” at Virginia Tech. The signature sound of the band became the sound of Uncle Jim, with priorities on a massive, rich and “sophisticated” sound. Virginia Tech was, at that time, culminating a period of exploding enrollment; the character of the student body was in flux, and Tech and The Marching Virginians were in many ways searching for their identities. Since their creation in 1974, The Marching Virginians have performed for hundreds of nationally televised football games and parades. Richard Cole, who was the chair of the Music Program at Virginia Tech in 1974, knew Heath from their days teaching in Great Falls, Montana, Cole as orchestra director at C. M Russell High School and Heath as band director at Great Falls High School. During the academic year, both chapters are deeply involved with many of the most visible events associated with The Marching Virginians including Band Parents Day, MV Band Day, Band-A-Rama, and Hokies for the Hungry. The Marching Virginians - The Spirit of Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia. content you are seeking by clicking here. Price established traditions such as Band Parents Day and the first Alumni Band performance. He directed the band on its first recording, The Marching Virginians, 1974-1984: The Spirit of Tech. The overwhelming majority of tunes in the book are timeless examples of the over 200 arrangements he has written for the MVs. If you have any questions or comments regarding this website, please contact the webmaster. On October 29th, 1973, Les Malpass, the Vice President of Academic Affairs, called Tony Distler into his office. Sept 5 - VT vs. Liberty. The enthusiasm of that early band was a direct reflection of Roger Heath’s hard work and dedication to the band members and the university. During the academic year, both chapters are deeply involved with many of the most visible events associated with The Marching Virginians including Band Parents Day, MV Band Day, Band-A-Rama, and Hokies for the Hungry. The focus of the band was changed forever. Sochinski-McKee Marching Virginians Center, College of Liberal Arts & Human Sciences - Virginia Tech.

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