The 180-member Wolf Pack Marching Band last season was the largest in school history, and the "The Pride of the Sierra" is set to grow even more and could reach 200 members this fall.
A three-year fundraising campaign, which ended in June, provided the marching band with a gift of $105,000 from Greater Nevada Credit Union and generated an additional nearly $80,000 in matching funds. Following the success of that campaign, Greater Nevada Credit Union has renewed its commitment and will again support the band by pledging $20,000 per year for the next three years. The credit union will continue a matching gift program, too, and will contribute up to another $25,000 annually.
"The growth and development of the Wolf Pack Marching Band in the last few years would not have been possible without the support of Greater Nevada Credit Union," Will Plenk, director of marching, pep and symphonic bands, said.
Dean Altus, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Greater Nevada Credit Union, said the decision to support the band is about building relationships.
"The entire fundraising campaign has been successful because we've teamed up with individuals and organizations to get the word out about the marching band and how to support it," Altus said. "We're thrilled to be able to continue our partnership with the band and all they do for the community and the school."
Plenk said the band is always looking to upgrade and improve, such as number of band members, quality of instruments and uniforms, and the ability to travel with the team when possible. They are currently involved in the expensive process of updating their inventory of wind instruments.
"This is already underway, but we have a significant amount of work to do before each band member is performing on the quality instrument that they deserve," Plenk said.
The Pride of the Sierra has brainstormed ways to use all of the spaces inside Mackay Stadium this season to increase the effectiveness of their performances during Wolf Pack football games and will be adding new musical elements to some halftime shows.
"Participating in the marching band the past three years has been one of the best choices I made during my college career," Joseph Esposito, tenor saxophonist in the marching band and senior economics student, said. "Being a part of the band opens so many doors and lets you see and do things you otherwise wouldn't get to experience. From all the sporting events you get to attend, whether it be a soccer game at Mackay or a bowl game in New Orleans, to the charity events you play at, no other club or class at this University will give you the experiences the marching band does."
The partnership with Greater Nevada Credit Union will remain an essential component to fulfilling the marching band's mission of providing positive, educational and musical experiences for students, while generating high levels of excitement and spirit at every event they attend.
"When the members of the band see that they are valued by their community, it becomes much easier to send that energy back in a performance setting," Plenk said.
Greater Nevada is headquartered in Carson City and has been helping Nevadans with their financial needs since 1949. The credit union serves 49,000 consumers and small businesses, and has more than $550 million in assets. Greater Nevada has also been consistently recognized as both Best Financial Institution in many of its service areas and as a top employer by the Reno/Tahoe Best Places to Work Awards.