PHOENIX (WNCN) — During the NCAA Tournament most of the focus is on the players, coaches and fans, but the pep bands are responsible for a lot of the energy and excitement in the tournament.
For members of the UNC travel band, they describe going to the Final Four as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“It’s a dream come true,” said senior Sam Artz. “I’ve been playing trumpet for so long and been in athletic bands and to be here in the moment it’s just incredible.”
About 30 of the 250 band members earned the opportunity to travel with the team to the NCAA tournament. They say it’s a fun, but busy experience with hours of preparation and practice for the big games.
“Honestly it’s been pretty overwhelming,” said senior Megan Goldsby. “We’ve been going nonstop since we got here.”
Playing in the Dean Dome, the large crowds and intense atmosphere is something band members are used to. However, they’ve been told by those who went to Houston for the Final Four last year, there’s an even greater national spotlight on the Final Four.
However, they’ve been told by those who went to Houston for the Final Four last year, there’s an even greater national spotlight on the Final Four.
“Honestly I’m going to try to not think about it because the more I think about it the more nervous I’ll be,” said Goldsby.
Another piece of advice from those who have gone before — be sure to take it all in and enjoy every moment.
“It’s priceless,” said Artz. “I’ve waited four years to be able to travel with the prep band and come here. It’s just an incredible experience.”
The travel band sticks with the team throughout both the ACC and NCAA Tournaments, so they’ve been to New York, Greenville, Memphis and now Phoenix. They say a lot of memories have been made on those trips, but the best memory would be a National Championship win.
They say a lot of memories have been made on those trips, but the best memory would be a National Championship win.