1975-1990

1975 – 1990: What Was It Like Back Then Before VCRs?

The Pep Band would rehearse for only the first 3 or 4 Saturdays of the school year – usually just until the first home football game (10am to Noon in West Hall). At their first rehearsal, new Pep Band members would fill out an index card w th their personal information and the card would be used by the Band Managers to record attendance, jacket number, etc. The managers for Pep Band during these years were also, at the same time, the managers for Symphonic Band, even though the two bands held two separate elections. The person elected to be the new Assistant Pep Band Manager was also elected to be the new Assistant Symphonic Band Manager up until Rick Peck in ’78-’79, Neal Lassinger in ’80-’81, and thereafter. A majority of the Pep Band members were also in Symphonic Band.

Sometime before ’74-’75, the Pep Band wore very heavy red wool jackets. By ’74-’75, newer lighter- weight (but still heavy) red jackets were being used. Both styles of jackets had the RPI seal on the front breast pocket. The jackets were owned by the Pep Band and were assigned before the first football game. No additional jackets were ever bought, so some years there wouldn’t be enough jackets to go around. At first, all Pep Band members were also required to wear a white shirt, black tie, black pants, and black shoes until ’78-’79 when this just became a recommendation (some people had started to wear a black sock in place of the black tie.) Several people still wore ties through the ’80-’81 season. Each band member was allowed to bring one guest to home hockey games.

In addition to playing for football and hockey games, the RPI Pep Band played at men’s basketball games (up through ’79-’80). The basketball band was quite a bit smaller than the bands for football and hockey games. “Hail” was played when the team came out and if they won, the usual cheers were played during time-outs, and 5 special short cheers were arranged for when RPI made a basket (by Tom Lazicky, Class of ’75, Trumpet).

Throughout this period, several RPI alumni were active members of the Pep Band – the announcer at hockey games would introduce us as the “RPI Student/Alumni Band” before we played the National Anthem(s). And, up until around ’82-’83, there were also several active members of the Pep Band who attended Russell Sage College and Albany College of Pharmacy.

Up until at least the ’78-’79 hockey season, each Pep Band member who attended the RPI Christmas Tournament was paid $5 for each night they played. The tournament used to last for three days – all four teams played each other round-robin. Also, each year we’d wait after the final game until all the tournament trophies were awarded and then we’d play “Auld Lang Syne”. Some band members would have to stay with others who lived in apartments since the dorms were locked. Some years the band would play pond hockey during the days between these games.

For several of these years, the Band Managers (for Pep Band/Symphonic Band) would get a list from the Institute of incoming freshmen who had indicated on their application that they played band instruments, and they would send out letters during the summer with information about the bands and/or they would look up those freshmen at the beginning of the school year.

The Pep Band carried to each game a large red suitcase which contained the nearly 100 folders of music. Each person would select a folder before each game and then return it afterwards. Only those people who attended every game were allowed to keep a folder with them. The folder contained just over 100 tunes, all but one or two of which would be performed during the year. Each tune had its own number in the folder and, for example, prior to each hockey intermission, the Pep Band Manager would call out the numbers of the 5 tunes to be played at the next intermission. The band would play during the entire warm-up period before hockey games and during the intermissions between periods, and songs were never repeated during a given night, and rarely repeated night to night. Hail was played after every score (followed by “1, …, We want More” – “Sieve, Sieve Sieve” was added later) and at the completion of games where RPI won. The Alma Mater was always the last song played during half-time for football games and during the second intermission at hockey games. During hockey season, the suitcase, the sousaphones, and the drums (1 or 2 snares, 1 bass, 1 tri-tom, 1 pair of cymbals) were stored in an upstairs room at the Fieldhouse (until the Fieldhouse renovation in ’83-’84).

Songs in the folder during this time (and their numbers, if we can remember them): 0 Cheers (Eat ‘Em Up + others), 5 Jesus Christ Superstar Medley (until ’80-’81), 5 West Side Story Medley (starting ’80-’81), 11 Down By The Lazy River, 13 Hey Look Me Over, 15 Comedy Tonight, 16 Here Comes The King (Budweiser Theme), 17 Kentucky Fried Chicken Theme, 18 The Theme From M*A*S*H, 19 The Horse, 22 Tiger Rag, 25 MacArthur Park, 32 Cumana, 33 El Cumanchero, 40 Alma Mater, 41 Hail Dear Old Rensselaer, 46 Ezekiel, 47 Saturday Night’s All Right For Fighting (until ’77-’78), 47 Wide World of Sports Theme (starting ’77-’78), 48 NBC Sports Theme, 50 Championship (CBS Sports), 52 Proud Mary, 54 O Canada + others, 56 National Anthem, 57 Joshua, 58 Saints In Concert, 62 Hogan’s Heroes, 64 The Stripper, 69 Get it On, 70 Hawaii Five-O, 71 Confidence, 72 Windy, 75 Varsity Drag, 94 Eli’s Comin’, 98 Give It One, 99 Rock Around The Clock, 102 Sea Chanty For Tuba Day By Day, Loony Toons Cheers (Merry Melodies, The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down, + others), Olympic Fanfare And Theme, Rubber Ducky (until ’77-’78), Super Themes (gone by ’78-’79), Masterpiece (Masterpiece Theater Theme), Peg (added ’78-’79), In The Mood, Opus One, String Of Pearls, Land Of Make Believe, Auld Lang Syne + others, Basin St. Blues, Pink Panther, Bottle Dance, Candy Man, Live and Let Die, Lennon & McCartney Hits, Bandstand Boogie, 25 Or 6 To 4, Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is, Saturday In The Park, Beginnings, Just You And Me, Night Train, Brazzle Dazzle Day, Alla Baroca, Classical Gas, Granada, Green Onions, Brazil, St. James Infirmary, Saturday Night, Peanut Vendor, The Hustle, Monster Mash, Liberty Bell March, King Cotton, Stars And Stripes Forever, Beer Barrel Polka, Peter Gunn, Theme From Rocky (added ’78-’79), Star Trek Theme (added ’78-’79), Birdland (added ’80-’81), Gospel John (added ’80-’81), Sounds Of The British Regiment (added ’80- ’81), Somewhere (added ’80-’81), Hang ‘Em High (added ’81-’82), Conquest (added ’81-’82), Captain From Castille (added ’81-’82)

Musical cheers included: BU, Let’s Go Cheer, Islanders (“Let’s Go Engineers” – started around ’77), Let’s Go Red — These first four cheers were the most popular since most of the crowd would clap and shout along with them (we played them much slower than they are currently played in ’97) — Eat ‘Em Up, Salt Peanuts (started around ’77), Rocky (started around ’84), Three Blind Mice (this wasn’t played during the early ’80s when the Institute frowned on put-down cheers – about the same time as the institution of the hockey rule that bands couldn’t play while the game was in action), Indian warpath song for hockey fights (started by Jim Mulder, Class of ’78, Trumpet), Dragnet (around ’80- ’81, we started playing Let’s Go Cheer right after Dragnet), Charge, Charge followed by starting the crowd doing The Wave(began around ’83-’84)

Vocal cheers included: – “Give me an R!” – “R!” – “Give me an E!” – “E!” – “Give me an N… S… S… E… L… A… E… R… P… O… L… Y… T… E… C… H… N… I… C… I… N… S… T… I… T… U… T… E… What’s that spell?” – “TUTE!” — this cheer was done during the second intermission of every hockey game just prior to playing the Alma Mater & people kept their place in the long name by reading off someone else’s jacket (this cheer stopped after the rugby shirts were used instead of the jackets = no long name) – Doppler Cheer: everyone stand and jump up & down without making noise, then sit down and scream – done at football games for the people watching from the roof of the Engineering Center – Numbers Cheer “1,2,3, 4,5,6, 7,8,9, 10” (+ backwards) – “Voltage times resistance! Power! Power!” – “Velocity times area! Pressure! Pressure!” – “Magnetize them! Magnetize them! Really flux them over!”- “Emulsify them! Emulsify them! Spread them into a thin film across the playing surface!” – “Annihilate them! Annihilate them! Make them relinquish control of the oblate spheroid!” – only for football games – “We eat Wheaties. We keep fit. Not like the other team. They eat shhhhhhhredded wheat!” – “Stand up, sit down, squat on your seat. Lie on your back and wiggle your feet. Pick your nose and scratch your ear. Who are we for? Rensselaer!” – and doing all of the actions as you’re saying them – “E to the x, dy, dx. E to the x, dx. Cosine, secant, tangent, sine. 3.14159. Square root, cube root, log of pi. Disintegrate them RPI!” – “Give me an E!” – “E!” – “Give me an X… L… A… X… What’s That Spell?” – “EX-LAX!” – “What’s it make you do?” – “GO! GO! GO! GO!” – “B-E-V-O-C-I-F-E-R-O-U-S. Be Vociferous! B-E Vociferous!” – done at football games when the cheerleaders were doing their “Be Aggressive” cheer. – “Kick that block!” – done at football games when the cheerleaders were doing their “Block that kick” cheer.- “Aaaaaaaction. Aaaaaaaction. We waaaaaaant aaaaaaaaction. Aaaaaa-Ccccc-Tttttt. Iiiii-Ooooo-Nnnnn.” shouted verrrrrrrry slowwwwwwly – done at football games when the cheerleaders were doing the same cheer very fast. – “The little brown dog jumped over the fence. What fence?” – “DE-FENSE!” – “What fence?” – “DE- FENSE!”… – “U, G, L, Y, You ain’t got no alibi! – You’re ugly, Ref. You’re ugly!” – “Hey, Ref! How’s life in ________?” – filling in the town’s name where the opposing team was from (e.g. “Potsdam” for Clarkson)

Other: – Eye Chart used for bad referee calls at hockey games. A huge (one was 2’x3′ and a later one was 4’x6’) eye doctor’s chart with the letter on top being large, diminishing down to tiny letters at the bottom:


+-------------------+
       | E |
     | A T M |
   | E R E F Y |
 | O U S U C K L |
| E T S G O R E D ! |
+-------------------+

On the back of the 2’x3′ eye chart there was just a single, huge letter”E”.

Elections for the next year’s Assistant Band Manager were held after the last hockey game – either at the Fieldhouse, on the bus home from a playoff game, or at a party afterwards. Nominations were made and ballots were cast.

The last Pep Band function of the year was marching in the GM week parade from Troy up to RPI. The band would march at the front of the parade just behind the new GM and new PU. Running this parade would be the old Assistant Band Manager’s first job as Senior Band Manager. This would also be the new Assistant Band Manager’s first time assisting.

1975-1976

Senior Band Manager: Beth Montalone, Class of ’76, Flute
Assistant Band Manager: Steve (a.k.a. “Derb”) Derby, Class of ’76, Euphonium

At a regional meeting of A&P grocery store managers in an auditorium in Albany, A&P kicked-off their new “Price and Pride” ad campaign and the Pep Band was paid to come and play the new A&P jingle. A&P wanted a band with red jackets and they had asked a couple of local high school bands who declined because it wasn’t dignified. The Pep Band was paid $400 for this.

During this football season, the Pep Band worked up a half-time show for one of the home games, but we can’t remember if we actually performed it or if it was rained-out.

During the regular hockey season, the Pep Band traveled to Cornell.

Band Manager Steve Derby later became (and is currently in ’97) a mechanical engineering professor at RPI.

Basketball band was run by Ernie (a.k.a. “Tuba”) ?last name?, Class of ?, Sousaphone.

1976-1977

Senior Band Manager: Steve (a.k.a. “Derb”) Derby, Class of ’76, Euphonium
Assistant Band Manager: Harve Cohen, Class of ’78, Trumpet

Basketball band, we think, was run by Harve Cohen, Class of ’78, Trumpet.

During the regular hockey season, the Pep Band traveled to Colgate and made a banner out of a sheet saying “We Use Crest”.

At the home ECAC quarterfinal playoff game, RPI lost to Cornell.

During one or two of these years, a wooden paddle was used to display the numbers for the tunes to be played at the upcoming break – plastic digits were slid into slots on the paddle (sort of like hymn numbers put up on a board in certain churches.)

The Pep Band entered the GM Week Chariot Race in “The Bandwagon” built by Steve Derby.

1977-1978: Freakout Numero Uno!

Senior Band Manager: Harve Cohen, Class of ’78, Trumpet
Assistant Band Manager: Jim (a.k.a. “Rowdy”, a.k.a. “Sparky”) Koch, Class of ’80, Trumpet

In order to attract new members, the Pep Band put up “Don’t Spend the Year With Your Nose in a Book and Your Horn in its Case” posters at the beginning of this school year and the next.

While conducting, Harve wore the white drum major’s uniform which was from the era of the old, old band jackets.

During the regular hockey season, the Pep Band traveled to Clarkson and St. Lawrence for the two-day North Trip. Beforehand, the Clarkson Athletic Department attempted to forbid the Pep Band from attending the Clarkson game until Harve called up the Clarkson President’s office and received permission. This was the first time in 28 years that RPI beat both Clarkson and St. Lawrence on a North Trip. On the way to the North Trip, the Pep Band played a concert at an Albany-area special education school, after the Institute received an invitation specifically asking for “that great band that plays at RPI hockey games”.

The first Big Red Freakout was held. Giveaway = ?

For the quarterfinals of the ECAC hockey playoffs, the Pep Band traveled to Cornell, where RPI lost.

Basketball band was run by Bill (a.k.a. “Max”) Nahabedian, Class of ’80, Trombone. The band traveled (by car) to SUNY Albany for an away game.

The Pep Band entered the GM Week Chariot Race.

Starting this year and lasting until ’81-’82, members of the Pep Band (along with a few others) had an intramural hockey team named the “Kraft Miracle Whimps” (after goalie Russ Kraft, Class of ’76, euphonium) which played in D-league until the ’80-’81 and ’81-’82 seasons where they moved up to C- league and a “farm team” named the “Adirondack Red Whimps” was formed in D-league. In ’80-’81, the Miracle Whimps finished 17th out of 17 teams in C-league and the Red Whimps finished 24th out of 27 teams in D-league. In ’81-’82, the Red Whimps improved enough to make the playoffs.

1978-1979

Senior Band Manager: Jim (a.k.a. “Rowdy”, a.k.a. “Sparky”) Koch, Class of ’80, Trumpet
Assistant Band Manager: Rick (a.k.a. “Tuba”) Peck, Class of ’79, Sousaphone

An “attendance policy” was instituted starting this year that required each Pep Band member to attend at least half of the home football games in order to be able to attend hockey games.

Mike Johnson, Class of ’80, Sousaphone, made “RPI”-logo covers for the sousaphone bells (red “RPI” letters inside a red circle on an off-white background).

During the regular hockey season, the Pep Band traveled to Boston University and then traveled to Brown.

Big Red Freakout giveaway = ?

Several members of the Pep Band played at a few women’s hockey games because Roberta Edelstein (last name now Mulder), Class of ’81, Clarinet, was on the team.

Basketball band was run by Rick (a.k.a. “Tuba”) Peck, Class of ’79, Sousaphone.

Dave Cole, Class of ’82, Saxophone, was elected the new Assistant Band Manager following the Big Red Freakout (the last hockey game) even though he was in the infirmary with the Russian Flu.

The Pep Band entered the GM Week Chariot Race.

1979-1980

Senior Band Manager: Rick (a.k.a. “Tuba”) Peck, Class of ’79, Sousaphone
Assistant Band Manager: Dave Cole, Class of ’82, Saxophone

Often while conducting, Tuba wore the old, white drum major’s uniform.

The night before the football game against Union, the Pep Band played at a pep rally held behind the Houston Fieldhouse where there was a huge bonfire.

At one of the home football games, the Pep Band performed a half-time show which consisted of marching onto the field, stopping in a simple formation (like forming an “R”), playing a tune, and marching into a different formation – I think we did 3 different tunes: MacArthur Park, Alma Mater, and one other, and I think we only practiced on the field once before the game.

During the regular hockey season, the Pep Band traveled to Boston College and then traveled to the University of Vermont where the Pep Band and the UVM Band had an informal pond hockey game.

During this hockey season, RPI played the USA Olympic Hockey team which, three or four weeks later, won the gold medal. RPI lost 9-3.

Big Red Freakout giveaway = cowbells

For the quarterfinals of the ECAC hockey playoffs, the Pep Band traveled to Dartmouth, where RPI lost.

RPI hockey player Steve Stoyanovich, who graduated this year, went on to play in the NHL for the New England (Hartford) Whalers. He was the first RPI hockey player to go on to play in the NHL. RPI goalie Kevin Constantine went on to become an NHL head coach for the San Jose Sharks (after, so we heard, being expelled from RPI when he crashed his car into the Fire Dept. on 15th St. while already on disciplinary and academic probation.)

Basketball band was run by Rich Hart, Class of ’80, Trumpet, this year and attendance was very small. This was the last year of basketball band.

Several members of the Pep Band played at a few women’s hockey games.

The Pep Band entered the GM Week Chariot Race.

1980-1981: Come Watch Us Hustle

Senior Band Manager: Dave Cole, Class of ’82, Saxophone
Assistant Band Manager: Neal Lassinger, Class of ’82, Trombone

A few (three) Pep Band members played at a women’s field hockey game where it rained so hard that the game was halted and the players went inside the ’87 gym until the worst rain had passed. The Pep Band members, however, stuck it out sitting through the pouring rain. Roberta Edelstein (last name now Mulder), Class of ’81, Clarinet, was the goalie for RPI and she stopped a penalty shot during this game to preserve the 2-2 tie against Wells College.

During the regular hockey season, the Pep Band traveled to the University of New Hampshire. Later, the Pep Band traveled to Princeton (Friday) and Cornell (Saturday) and stayed overnight in Princeton.

The hockey team’s slogan this year was “Come Watch Us Hustle” and the coach asked that we play “The Hustle” (famous 70’s disco tune) during warm-ups. Dave Cole and Jim Koch arranged “The Hustle” for the Pep Band from memory and by calling a radio station and having them play it. Years later it was discovered in the music archives that the Pep Band had already owned an arrangement of “The Hustle” from years past.

On the final night of the Christmas Tournament, at the Vasby (from Sweden) vs. Holy Cross game, the Holy Cross goalie scored an unassisted goal on the Vasby goalie when the Holy Cross goalie’s rink- long clearing shot skipped over the Vasby goalie’s stick and into the net.

Big Red Freakout giveaway = small, round New Year’s Eve-type noisemakers. During the second intermission of this Freakout, nine of the female Pep Band Members lined up at the front of the stage and, while the Pep Band played The Stripper, proceeded to remove their pants and other outerwear revealing long, white t-shirts which spelled out “LETS GO RED”.

This year (or maybe the next) was the first year that the RPI cheerleaders attended hockey games.

1981-1982

Senior Band Manager: Neal Lassinger, Class of ’82, Trombone
Co-Assistant Band Manager: Kitty Pfister (last name now: Harvey), Class of ’83, Clarinet
CO-Assistant Band Manager: Bryan Amore, Class of ’85, Saxophone

The night before the football game against Union, the Pep Band played at a pep rally held behind the Houston Fieldhouse where there was a huge bonfire.

During the regular hockey season, the Pep Band traveled up each of the two days to the two-night Empire Cup Tournament held in Glens Falls. RPI lost to St. Lawrence and Colgate.

In the December 2, 1981 issue of the Poly, a full page story was devoted to the Pep Band. Quotes: “Former hockey head coach Jim Salfi once said that this group added a goal a game. Current hockey head coach Mike Addessa sent out a letter last January commending their performance, giving them his ‘total endorsement’, and stating ‘the most significant contribution that I feel our band has made to our program stems from their presence and support at various games that we play on the road away from the friendly confines of the Houston Field House'”.

Big Red Freakout giveaway = small clicker noisemakers + small Freakout pennant on a stick

RPI hockey player Mike McPhee, who graduated this year, went on to play in the NHL for the Montreal Canadiens.

Members of the Pep Band traveled (by car) to Albany Pharmacy and played for one of their men’s basketball games (not versus RPI).

At the elections for next year’s Assistant Band Manager, there was a tie (or near-tie) in votes for the two candidates, so Kitty Pfister and Bryan Amore agreed to be CO-Assistant Band Managers.

1982-1983: Fire on Ice

Co-Senior Band Manager: Kitty Pfister (last name now Harvey), Class of ’83, Clarinet
CO-Senior Band Manager: Bryan Amore, Class of ’85, Saxophone
Assistant Band Manager: Meri Gordon (last name now Stevens), Class of ’84, Flute

While conducting, Bryan wore the old, white drum major’s uniform.

The Pep Band traveled (by car) to the football team’s game against Union.

The slogan for the RPI hockey team this year was “Fire On Ice”.

During the regular hockey season, the Pep Band traveled up each of the two days to the two-night Empire Cup Tournament held in Glens Falls, where RPI lost to Clarkson and Colgate. During the second night, we went over and played along with the Clarkson band during their game against St. Lawrence and then they came over and played along with us during our game against Colgate.

The Pep Band also traveled to Cornell (Friday) and Princeton (Saturday) and stayed overnight in Princeton. At Princeton, around half of the crowd was rooting for RPI since the band was there, 500 local alumni attended, a bunch of people made the trip from Troy, and the Princeton supporters were very sparse.

Big Red Freakout giveaway = red horns (3 feet long)

For the quarterfinals of the ECAC hockey playoffs, the Pep Band traveled to Harvard for two nights of playoff games, where RPI lost both nights. We stayed overnight in Cambridge.

I’m pretty sure the Pep Band played at a home men’s lacrosse game this year (or the previous year) ((or both)).

1983-1984: America’s Pep Band

Senior Band Manager: Meri Gordon (last name now Stevens), Class of ’84, Flute
Assistant Band Manager: Bobby Hazan, Class of ’85, Trombone
Conductor: Brad Amidon, Class of ’86, Trumpet

The Houston Fieldhouse was renovated before the start of this hockey season. The roof was raised, made flat and coated with soundproofing material to improve acoustics along with a new sound system. The stage area was enlarged (the rink was enlarged and moved to the west several feet). The ice surface was lowered several feet to make viewing better and the height of the glass was raised. This last change made it harder for opposing teams to shoot pucks straight into the band – in the past, the back row of the band was in danger of direct hits.

To go along with the renovations, the Fieldhouse people wanted to move the Pep Band off of the stage and into the stands at the far northeast corner. At the first home game, we sat in these stands and had a terrible night. Here’s a quote from the “Not In The Box Score” column by Mike Hurle in the Poly sports section that following week: “Need I comment on the Pep Band during Friday night’s contest. Being a musician myself for over a decade, and as the conductor of the RPI Jazz Ensemble, I know the problems associated with performing. However, there is no excuse for not being able to start the national anthem on the first try. Not only did they embarrass themselves, but they shamed the entire RPI community. Their lack of interest during the latter part of the game only furthers my condemnation of the group. When the fans are not totally excited in what is going on, it is the job of the Pep Band to get things going. That’s what the word pep is doing before band. Perhaps the entire group just had a bad night. I can only hope that the situation improves as the season continues.” Yes, it was bad that night due to several things, but the main problem was sitting in the stands. First, as a result of that night, the position of Conductor was created and Brad Amidon became the first to assume the position. Also, by the next home game, Meri successfully negotiated us back into our rightful place on the stage. In the following issue of the Poly, “Not In The Box Score” said “Let me be the first to congratulate on the improvement of the Pep Band at the Olympic exhibition game recently. It was good to hear the sounds of old. Keep up the good work!”

During the regular hockey season, the Pep Band traveled up each of the two days to the two-night Empire Cup Tournament held in Glens Falls. The Pep Band also traveled to the University of Maine (Friday) and the University of New Hampshire (Saturday) and stayed overnight outside of Boston. At UNH, the UNH team fired several pucks into the band during warm-ups (very low glass barrier).

Big Red Freakout giveaway = cowbells

At the home ECAC quarterfinal playoff games against Colgate, RPI won both games.

For the semifinals and finals of the ECAC hockey playoffs, the Pep Band traveled to Boston for two nights of playoff games at Boston Garden and stayed overnight in downtown Boston. RPI beat Clarkson and Boston University to win the ECAC Championship. During the second night, there was a brouhaha when Boston Garden officials made the Pep Band move from their ice-level seats to upper-level, obstructed-view seats right before the start of RPI’s championship game.

At the home NCAA quarterfinal playoff games against North Dakota, where RPI lost both games, the giveaway was big, red foam #1 hands.

It was during this season when Sports Illustrated ran a short article on us and called us “America’s Pep Band” – in the issue after RPI won the ECAC championship.

1984-1985: De-Troit, Detroit – We’re Number One!

Senior Band Manager: Melissa Moncher (last name now Ackerman), Class of ’86, Sousaphone
Conductor: Brad Amidon, Class of ’86, Trumpet

During the regular season, the Pep Band carpooled to Union for football, and to Princeton and Vermont for hockey.

Sometime during hockey season (after the shipment arrived), the Pep Band starting wearing red and white-striped rugby shirts with an “America’s Pep Band” logo on the upper left chest, each band member purchasing their own shirt.

Big Red Freakout giveaway = plastic clapper noisemakers + red and white pompoms

At the home ECAC quarterfinal playoff games against Princeton, where RPI won both games, the Pep Band was given RPI engineer hats by the RPI Alumni Association.

For the semifinals and finals of the ECAC hockey playoffs, the Pep Band traveled to Boston for two nights of playoff games at Boston Garden and stayed overnight in downtown Boston. RPI beat Cornell and Harvard to win the ECAC Championship

The Cheer “De..Troit, De…Troit” was started at the last home hockey game of the Season. Signs were completed for the ECAC Playoffs.

At the home NCAA quarterfinal playoff games against Lake Superior State, where RPI won (won a game and tied a game), the Pep Band was given red hard hats by the RPI Alumni Association.

For the semifinals and finals of the NCAA Division I Hockey Championships, the Pep Band traveled to Detroit for two nights of playoff games and stayed overnight outside of Detroit. RPI beat University of Minnesota-Duluth and Providence to win the National Championship. In the semifinals, RPI scored with less than two minutes left in regulation to tie the game, which then went into three overtime periods before RPI scored to win. At the end of the game, the band played “Hallelujah Chorus” at the suggestion of Beth Wilkinson (last name now Flanagan), Class of ’86. In the finals, George Servinis scored the winning goal after a face-off while RPI was shorthanded (the replay shows he entered the face-off circle early.) Brett Hull (St. Louis Blues) played for Minnesota-Duluth and won the Hobey Baker Award that year, and Chris Terreri (New Jersey Devils, San Jose Sharks) was in-goal for Providence. RPI players from that team who went on to the NHL: Adam Oates (Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues, Boston Bruins), Darren Puppa (Buffalo Sabres, Tampa Bay Lightning), John Carter (Boston Bruins), Kraig Nienhuis (Boston Bruins), George Servinis (Minnesota North Stars), Tim Friday (Detroit Red Wings), and Ken Hammond (Los Angeles Kings). Several other players went on to play in the IHL and AHL. Also, we were invited to play the National Anthem for the consolation game and invited Minn-Duluth’s band to join us!

April 8, 1985 issue of Sports Illustrated states, “On Friday, RPI faced Minnesota-Duluth in the other semi, and both clubs must have taken their game plan from the Engineer band, which played “Rock Around the Clock” more times than Bill Haley and the Comets ever did.”

1985-1986

Manager: Bill Nagle, Saxophone
Conductor(s): 1/2 year of Brad Amidon, Class of ’86, Trumpet,
1/2 year of Jim Unger.

1987-1988

Conductor: Jim Ungar
Managers: Anne Ferraro, Sam Samuelson
Freakout: vs. Clarkson
Gift: Dish Towel (Terrible Towels)
Roadtrip: Dartmouth/ Harvard- Origin of the “where is Dartmouth? It’s everywhere.” slogan.
Playoffs: Quarterfinal loss to Harvard

1987-1988

Conductor: Jim Ungar
Managers: Anne Ferraro, Sam Samuelson
Freakout: vs. Clarkson
Gift: Dish Towel (Terrible Towels)
Roadtrip: Dartmouth/ Harvard- Origin of the “where is Dartmouth? It’s everywhere.” slogan.
Playoffs: Quarterfinal loss to Harvard

1988-1989

Conductor: Dave O’Neil
Managers: Luigi Giasi, Bill Smith
Freakout: vs. Yale
Gift: Bandana
Stripper: Anne Ferraro
Roadtrips: Clarkson- One night stand, 4 15-people vans were used. The band cheered the team as they boarded the bus. We got a very stoic “Thanks Guy” from Addessa.
Football roadtrip to Union- Rowdy and drunk Union fans caused problems.
Playoffs: Quarters at Harvard (eliminated).
(When coach Addessa heard that the band wasn’t planning on going to Harvard, he called Bill Smith asking the band to make an appearance. Bill quickly organized a van and small band on that same day.
Fun Facts: The first (and only) “Not Necessarily the Homecoming Queen” contest. The Pep Band entered Anne Ferraro. For the parade we had a “Hawaii Five-O” theme. The big tradition: throwing the officers into a snow bank. The Clarkson band and the RPI band combine for a song on stage. Coach Addessa resigns after being accused of making ‘racial remarks’ to the team. Performances at Frosh Parade. Ben and Jerry’s on Lark St. becomes a post-game tradition.

1989-1990

Conductor: Jason Bell
Managers: Joe Padua, Adam Selsley
Freakout Gift: Pompom
Stripper: Anne Ferraro
Roadtrips: Princeton (unofficial. Several cars were used. Anne Ferraro’s family fed the band after the game. Jerry Lenaz’s father, an RPI alum and Princeton faculty, bought us the tickets.)
Brown (one night stand. Stole the Pep Band on Ice idea from Brown. Gave them high fives when they were done.)
Yale (one night stand, Sat. after Brown. This trip was possible with the support of the Hartford alumni chapter.)
Dartmouth (overnight. There is nothing in Hanover. Some members get car sick because it’s a hilly trip to Hanover.)
Harvard (hung out in Boston before the game. Some go to the aquarium. Some go to ‘Cheers’. Dinner at ‘The No Name’.)
Hoping for 4th place going into final weekend, RPI beats 1st place Colgate and 2nd place Cornell in Over Time.
Playoffs: Quarters vs. Brown (band performs at Alumni House. Brown and RPI perform a song together, but they don’t come on stage.
Semi vs. Cornell at Boston Garden (bus does 3 point turn in downtown Boston)
Final vs. Colgate (eliminated) cheated out of NCAA bid (Clarkson beat us twice)
New Music: Gimme Some Lovin’, In the Mood, Great Outdoors
Fun Facts: New Coach, Buddy Powers. ‘Land Shark’ is added to the Toll Booth Song. Money is raised by raffling off autographed hockey sticks and programs donated by the team. Signs, especially for the ‘Goalie Cheer’, make an appearance. Performances also at the Hockey Line Pizza Party and Frosh Parade.