A one, and a two…

Violinists Danielle Conrad, left, and Israel Lizarraga perform with the Pacific pep band during a men’s basketball game between UOP and UC Santa Barbara at UOP’s Spanos Center in Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/320th sec. @ f/2.8. ISO: 1600)

There’s a joke that goes: “Lawrence Welk says, ‘Violence. I hate violence, but I need two in my orchestra.'” Violins have a reputation of having a smooth, refined and delicate sound. The Pacific pep band is not known for it’s subtly. They play heart-pumping tunes to help get the fans fired-up. There are bouncy songs that the Pacific Dancers perform their routines to. They even sing a song (Hey Baby). None of them are what you can call subtle.

The violins, even though they’re amplified, tend to be lost in the sheer volume of the louder instruments. Like the flutes and clarinets, they can’t compete with the trumpets, trombones, tubas and drums.

The pep band members also serve as unofficial cheerleaders. They’ll root on the team, boo their opponents and even perform their own organized cheers. The violinists do their part in the the band’s antics and in that way they’re just as important as the rest of the band, just not as loud.

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