With a stadium full of cheering K-State fans decked in purple, the signal to sprint from the end zone to the football field for the pregame show is second to none for band member Sophia Shaar. “This experience always comes to mind for me because it reminds me of the excitement of performing in the stadium, my pride in performing well and doing my job, and how much fun it is to see all the hard work in rehearsals pay off,” said Sophia.
A senior majoring in chemical engineering with a minor in chemistry, Sophia has been a member of the Pride of Wildcat Land for four years where she plays the mellophone. Sophia’s love for the marching band and interest in the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering are what led her to K-State. Sophia admits that she was rather timid when arriving on campus as a freshman. However, being a member of the band has given her the opportunity to grow in confidence and leadership.
“My experience in the K-State band has been extremely positive and very impactful on my time at K-State,” Sophia said. “The extra time commitments for rehearsals, performances and now section leader responsibilities get tough to manage sometimes, but the return on the time investment is immeasurable. I have found most, if not all, of my closest college friends from being in the band program. I have also experienced plenty of personal growth that I attribute to my time in band.”
Because of the academic rigor of her major and working two part-time jobs on campus, Sophia looks forward to band rehearsals and performances as an opportunity to step away from the busyness of the world. Receiving scholarships has been instrumental in allowing Sophia to remove stress and devote time to band and her coursework.
“The support of a scholarship allows me to remove some external stress and help rationalize spending so much time in a program other than my degree path,” said Sophia. “Their [donors’] support of the band helps many members stay in the band for longer, which only increases the quality of the band and improves the experience for everyone! It means a lot to me to know that people enjoy what we are doing so much that they want to offer such generous support.”
Written by: Ariana Brancato