William Pease One on One

Western Michigan University Bronco Marching Band, Band Director William Pease took time this week to talk to Broncos Illustrated. Following his next to last practice prior to today's rivalry game between the Broncos and the Central Michigan University Chippewas he talked about his time here at Western Michigan, how the attention has affected him and what affected his decision in taking the job at Virginia.

William Pease

He talks about today's halftime show.

"It's kind of a culmination we're playing the music of Chicago; "Make Me Smile" "25 or 6 to 4" "Saturday in the Park" and we're finishing with big noise. It's a big, loud, lot of fun show, rock band."

He comments on whether or not the band is going to Toledo next week.

"We're not taking a pep band but some are probably going to go and watch. I'm sure they are for sure. I don't know if I'm going or not, I'm leaving that day to go to Virginia. So I might stop by the game depending on what time the game is and how things are going. I'm going to try to stop by and watch myself."

He talks about what his most memorable moment is with the Bronco Marching Band.

"Gosh, it's really not one moment. I would say it's just the students. That's probably unlimited, infinite. It's just the different students I've met throughout the years. That's going to be more memories than anything, not one particular show or one particular game. I think just students. To me the students and the friends, I don't think it's really able to put it on one show because every year we do completely different shows. It's like I was asking a composer one time, "What's favorite piece of music?" and he said a really good response which I really liked. He said, "Think of them as your children, sometimes the ones that don't work as well you kind of care for them even more," and I said that's a good point. When somebody would ever ask about the show I would think about that a lot. I think the ones that probably didn't work the way I wanted them to I probably think I really wanted them to work. They all become a part of you and I don't know if I have one favorite. The patriotic shows to me are the most touching shows, students aren't as thrilled about playing them until they hear the response from the crowd. The CommUniverCity Night shows are always great because of the crowd. I don't know I have to tell you sitting up in the stands, meeting all the students, the band; it will be a sad day on Saturday. It really will be."

He comments on all the attention he has been getting this year.

"It's really hard to put into words. I do feel very, very special. I feel like a major part of what happens here. I can't describe the feeling. It's something that I feel lucky, I feel blessed, and I'm thrilled to be a part of it. Whenever anybody mentions anything about the athletic program I feel part of it whether I play at an event or not I do feel welcome by the fans. Through the publicity I've gotten over this past year has been embarrassing to say the least and very, very touching. I don't know, it's been a great, great six years. It will be something special on Saturday, but I do feel like I'm a big part of it. I don't feel like I'm a big part of it at Virginia because I haven't done anything but they have made me feel welcome. But it takes time. I have built a lot of friendships here like I have with you and this is the benchmark, this is what I consider the standard and I hope to get the Virginia band up to this level. I have a special bond with Gary (Darnell) and some of the other coaches and just some of the other athletic folks. I don't know that's going to be tough to be duplicated but I am going to work hard to make sure it is though."

He talks about how much the publicity has shown him how much he means to this community (Kalamazoo).

"Exactly, that probably, made me second guess myself now a little bit more. It makes you really think about it a lot more now, sure it does. The grass isn't always greener on the other side. A lot of people say it's a great opportunity for me but I may never have a band like this again. So, I've enjoyed it this year more than ever and I have appreciated what it's like to be here. I mean, we have a losing record but there was still folks out there this past week at the game, they were there. Anyone can jump on a winner but I was really impressed with the students at the last game. There wasn't as many as I wanted there but there were a heck of a lot more than I thought there was going to be. I hope for this next game they're really coming out and raising a lot of hell out there because we are going to try to. It's going to be difficult to put into words but I feel very, very much a part of the community and very much a part of the university. I feel bad in some ways for leaving but on the other hand I've done everything I could, I haven't left any stones unturned so there's nothing more I can really do than what I've done. I feel like I've worked as hard as I could in here and I will look back on it thinking I could have done more. I guess maybe there are a couple of times I feel like maybe I could have done a little bit more but I gave everything I had. So hopefully that's the one thing that somebody would say, "Well you know he worked his tail off," and the next person comes in and worked there tail off too. Keep it going, I want it to get better, and I think it can, I really do but it's going to take somebody to say this isn't good enough. Unfortunately for me this is good enough. It's like you raise your own kids; would you do it over again in different ways? I probably wouldn't have done it any differently, so I don't have any regrets, no, nothing. I'm excited about it."

He talks about taking the job at Virginia.

"It's a dream to have a band in that level conference, that level of a university. It's a great academic institution. I have a lot of pride for the state and I grew up there so I love the state, I love what it stands for. But, I have really fallen in love with Michigan and we will see how it works out there. I want it to be my final stop, but if it isn't then we will see how it all works out. You never know I might come back to Kalamazoo. You never know, that door is always open. But we will have to do just one thing at a time but I'm not in it for the short term. I felt like I could have easily left this year in August when I got the job. They wanted me to, they said, "We will buy out your contract," I said no because I'm staying here until the end of this season and it's been tough. I don't think I have been as focused as I have needed to be sometimes but nobody can probably tell but myself. It's a dream job, I guess. This is a dream job so if someone says that it's like a slap in the face to Western. This has been a dream job for me. The only thing that's really going to be different is I should probably make more money. That's probably the only difference. (The Money kind of helps when you have family) Well that really does and Western didn't have any more money and I really didn't ask for a lot more but they couldn't give it. I know what budget issues we're dealing with now and with my band budget there is going to be so much more than it is here. What's nice about that is I can give to the students what they deserve and I'm not talking about extra things, just equipment can be better, facilities could be nicer, funds to do things for the students which I really want to be able to do. We need somebody to give a million dollars to this band because they deserve it. We need to get that going because it's a special bond out here and I'm sure it will be there too but it's going to take time. It's going to take a lot of time."

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