The Tigers are losing. The crowd’s interest is waning. Mini Mizzou blasts out the fight song anyway.
Win or lose, members of Mini Mizzou love to play. A half-hour before the start of each men’s basketball game, the band begins to entertain the crowd.
Members of Mini Mizzou say it can be a challenge keeping the crowd up when the basketball team is down, but they try not to let it interfere with their performance.
“It’s exciting to know we are responsible for some of the excitement going on,” trombonist Matt Wall said.
Most students don’t have the opportunity to attend tournament games, but the pep band gets to go and support the team. The band followed the basketball team to Kansas City for the Big 12 Tournament and played the National Invitational Tournament game in Columbia on March 15 in which MU lost to DePaul 75-70.
Members of Marching Mizzou audition each year for the coveted positions in Mini Mizzou, the 35-member pep band. It counts for one university credit hour but requires a huge time commitment.
Percussionist Josh Jaynes said he enjoys the opportunity to play music and watch the games for free from courtside seats.
Former Mini Mizzou member Michael Knight is in his first year directing the band. He said he plans to maintain the band’s high quality.
“We hope to contribute to fans’ enjoyment when they come to the arena,” Knight said.