Photo for Best Student Organization: The Carolina Band

Best Student Organization: The Carolina Band

By Alicia Caracciolo

For the very first time, the Carolina Band, or the “Mighty Sound of the Southeast,” was voted Best Student Organization in Best of Carolina! 

The Carolina Band’s main mission is to perform for a community that shares the same love for USC that its members have. The organization positively impacts the gameday environment at all types of sporting events, from volleyball to football, often functioning as a student section of its own.

“You’ll never see a more enthusiastic group of Gamecock-loving people in a stadium,” Riley Johnson, a first-year member of the color guard, said. “[The band] brings a level of enthusiasm for Carolina sports that I’ve never seen anyone else do.”

The Carolina Band’s role at all of the various games promotes morale and passion amongst fans, helping to create a high-energy atmosphere. 

“I have been at games where the band has literally turned the tide of the game,” Leeana Hames, a third-year student and captain of the color guard, said. “The crowd responds to our energy, and we can get things hyped up.”

Music from the band not only intensifies the energy of the crowd, but the organization also brings structure to that energy and unites Gamecock fans. The band does this by staying until the very end of every game, where they close out the event with the university’s alma mater. 

At most game endings, there is a very small crowd left to participate with the athletes and band members, but the moments after the South Carolina football matchup against the University of Tennessee was a different experience.  

“We always play the fight song and the alma mater after games, and we usually only have a small crowd, but this time the entire stadium was there to sing along with us. It was a very special moment,” Hames said. 

The Carolina Band fosters an inclusive community for all of its members, as each one accounts for different majors and comes from all grades, allowing everyone to feel welcome. 

Members say that they have always felt wanted in the band, which is among many participants’ favorite things about the organization. Because of the large number of people in the band, members are constantly able to form new relationships and learn from one another. 

“Carolina Band treats every member with respect, love and comfort. They don’t just tell you that you are welcomed, you know you are welcomed as soon as you walk through the door,” Isabella Nofal, a first-year piccolo player, said. 

The band is an organization that requires commitment beyond comparison. Practicing nearly every day in the fall, in addition to their hours of gameday commitments, band members are truly dedicated to the organization and are passionate about what they do.

“It’s definitely a lot of commitment, and it can be tiring especially along with all of your other schoolwork,” Hames said. “But getting to spend time with my friends and get to go see some of the best college football makes it worth it.”