Webster Groves Marching Band has played half-time shows since the 1920s. The marching band at Webster is historic, started by Hans Lemcke and W.B. Heyne over 80 years ago, now led by Kevin Cole.
Lemcke started the music history at Webster when he arrived here in 1926. Lemcke began his musical training at age six in Germany. After Lemcke took over, the band grew in talent and in size.
Lemcke once said, “We must seek to make music important to the lives of the students participating and those who listen. It cannot be entertainment alone. Music must be an emotional release, an aesthetic experience. Music must add immeasurable to the cultural life of all of the people and provide an educational discipline in its wake.”
This year the marching band will perform a medley called “MJ 70’s Opener.” This consists of the Michael Jackson songs, “Workin’ Day and Night” and “Off the Wall.” They will also play a song called, “Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get Enough.” In the past, Webster has played songs from Stevie Wonder and other Michael Jackson hits.
Cullen Drissel, freshman, is a member of the band. “I’m really psyched. We’ve worked hard as a band to make sure we have everything right. We’re going to have a great show,” Drissel said.
Two years ago at the big game, the band was sent home as a result of a blizzard. Therefore, none of the current band members have ever played in a home Turkey Day game.
Cole and his Marching Statesmen will be ready for Turkey Day as the band has been working since the end of July at band camp where the members of the band endured a grueling five days on the campus of Hannibal LaGrange University. On the show they will be performing titled, “The Music of Michael Jackson.”
“The band is excited for the Turkey Day game,” Cole said. “We’ll also be in the stands playing loudly and supporting the on field action.”