From 120 members in 2012 to 180 in 2014, the University of Nevada, Reno has seen its marching band, the "Pride of the Sierra," grow in numbers, support and pride.
Kicking off during Saturday's Wolf Pack football game against Southern Utah, Greater Nevada Credit Union continues its fundraising campaign, "It's Time to Support the Band." The fundraising drive is going into the third year of the three-year pledge of an annual $20,000 gift, plus a three-year, matching-gift program through which Greater Nevada Credit Union could contribute up to $15,000 annually.
"In addition to the pledge, we have seen nearly $50,000 in combined fundraising already," Will Plenk, director of the marching, pep and symphonic bands, and conducting instructor, said. "The Greater Nevada Credit Union support and funding from the community has made so many exciting things possible."
While the Marching Band will debut new songs and louder sounds, they are not an unfamiliar sight to the community.
"We have increased our visibility in the community, largely due to sponsored Greater Nevada Credit Union events," Plenk said. "We are also able to travel more with the teams, going to UNLV this year and San Diego State last year."
Plenk said that new uniforms, which had not been purchased in approximately 10 years, were unveiled last year, giving the band a spectacular new look. The band also purchased a new set of drums, increased its number of staff members, increased recruiting reach with postcard and poster mailings, and launched a new Marching Band website.
"This year's funds will go toward the purchase of new instruments and to our trip to UNLV," Plenk said. "We would love to help bring back the Fremont Cannon."
Greater Nevada Credit Union Chief Operating Officer Dean Altus said he is excited the community has continued to join in their partnership with the University Marching Band.
"We are very impressed by how our community continues to rally around this worthy cause," he said. "The Marching Band is an integral part of the University and provides wonderful opportunities for the students involved in the program. They also provide great entertainment to northern Nevada families and help support Wolf Pack Athletics."
To learn more about supporting the Wolf Pack Marching Band, a major ensemble of the Department of Music in the University's College of Liberal Arts, contact Kristen Kennedy, director of development at the University, 775-784-6873; or Greater Nevada Credit Union, 775-882-2060, or donate online.
Greater Nevada Credit Union is a financial cooperative that has served Nevada consumers since 1949. As northern Nevada's largest credit union, it has more than 45,000 members and $459 million in assets. Anyone living or working in northern Nevada is eligible to join Greater Nevada. For more information, visit www.gncu.org.