Mini Mizzou spices up Missouri win over Kansas

Saturday, October 22, 2011 | 4:48 p.m. CDT; updated 10:30 p.m. CDT, Saturday, October 22, 2011
Freshman Joey Smith plays the trombone in Mini Mizzou Gold during the Missouri women's soccer game against Kansas at Audrey J. Walton Stadium on Friday. The band played pep songs during halftime, including "Hey Baby," a sousaphone classic with incorporated dance movements.

COLUMBIA — The noise came from both sides of the soccer field on Friday night.

And it wasn't just noise but the inspiring melodies of Missouri's traditional fight songs. Throughout the game.

Mini Mizzou, MU's athletics pep band for sports other than football, attended the Missouri women's soccer team's win over Kansas on Friday at Audrey J. Walton Stadium. Its performance and noisy chants helped spice up the atmosphere during the Tigers' nail-biting comeback against their classic rivals.

The noisy group of 35 musicians sat on the small east stand of the stadium, where usually only a handful of fans sit and cheer for the Tigers.

But, they didn't just sit there.

The pep band played classic Missouri fight songs before the game, including "Every True Son" and "Fight Tigers." On the other side of the field, the fans sitting on the west stand applauded and cheered, clearly enjoying Mini Mizzou's performance.

After all, it's not something you get at every Missouri soccer game.

Mini Mizzou usually performs at Missouri basketball and volleyball games, but, because Friday's game was against the Kansas Jayhawks, the Missouri soccer team asked the band to come to the stadium to boost the Tigers.

"It's important for us to cheer on our athletes, especially in the big rivalry games like this," said Tyler Edwards, graduate teaching assistant and band conductor during Friday's performance. "It raises crowd interaction and keeps everyone going."

Mini Mizzou certainly kept everyone going during halftime when it played some classic rock songs, including "Hey Baby" and "Land of a Thousand Dances." Several fans responded by singing along with the melody and dancing.

The members of the pep band were happy to come to the soccer game and support their athletes.

"This is great," sophomore bass drummer Sam Hayes said. "I love the atmosphere of sports. Just being out here and being able to cheer on your Tigers is a great experience."

Although Friday's soccer game was a small event compared to other sports, the members of Mini Mizzou were as enthusiastic as they always are. They were chanting, making jokes, dancing and shouting the whole time.

"The atmosphere is certainly different for every sport," senior baritone player Michele Curry said. "But we like to have just as much energy here as we do at, say, a football game. It makes it fun for everybody."

Their enthusiasm comes from their love for music and Missouri.

"They are just band kids," Edwards said. "The reason why they do stuff like this is because they love it. They don't get paid for doing this. They don't get credit for doing this. It's just something they enjoy a lot."

But Mini Mizzou did get credit for their performance on Friday. After the thrilling game was over, all the Missouri soccer players ran toward the east stand. They stopped a few feet away from the band, waving at them and smiling.

"The band was one of the first things we noticed when we came out," senior soccer player Kelsey Blincow said after the game. "Their support tonight was huge. They really kept the crowd going. These guys gave up a Friday night to come to our game and that was awesome. We really appreciate that."

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