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Letter from the Editor: Stoking the Pride

by and on September 30, 2019 3:17 PM

I have lots of habits that understandably try my wife’s patience.

This time of year, for example, there are the minutes – OK, maybe hours – spent each week on my phone, researching and adjusting the lineups of my fantasy football teams. While she enjoys football too, she’s not into the fantasy craze. But she mostly puts up with this obsession, and even feigns excitement from time to time when one of my running backs from Arizona or somewhere scores a touchdown.

We do share a passion for Penn State football, and for tailgating before games. But she does not share my love of packing up the tailgate in time to be in our seats a half-hour or so before the game starts. She finds this desire especially puzzling on very hot or very cold days.

I enjoy catching a few minutes of the teams’ pregame warmups. But mostly I love getting to my seat early to watch the Blue Band come on the field. For me, and thousands of others inside Beaver Stadium, the game-day experience is not complete without the Blue Band getting things off to a rousing start. When wet weather prevents the band from getting on the field, the pregame atmosphere truly loses something.

The man responsible for stoking all that Penn State pride each home Saturday is Gregory Drane, the band’s director since 2015. Before the season got rolling, Drane sat down for lunch with Town&Gown founder Mimi Barash Coppersmith. Get a behind-the-scenes perspective on all the work that goes into those pregame and halftime shows inside this issue.

Meanwhile, we’ll be in our seats early again October 5, with the homecoming bonus of a performance by the Alumni Blue Band! Hopefully, it will be dry, and not too hot – or too cold.

I need to keep the peace.



Mark Brackenbury

Editorial Director

[email protected]






David Pencek is editor of Town&Gown magazine, Town&Gown's Penn State Football Annual, and Town&Gown's Penn State Winter Sports Annual.

Mark Brackenbury, Town&Gown
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