10 Questions With New Blue Band President Doug Uhazie
Meet Doug Uhazie, the newly elected president of the Penn State Blue Band. The Alto Saxophonist joined the band as a freshman and served as the Blue Band Librarian during his sophomore year, before being elected President in his senior year. Since we got a chance to catch up with him and ask him some questions, I’ll let him tell you the rest:
Onward State: Describe yourself in 50 words.
Doug Uhazie: I was born in Rochester, NY, and raised as a child in Southeast Asia. I’m majoring in Finance. In addition to Blue Band I am active with THON, Penn State Accounting Society, and IM Sports. You can find me on campus cheering very loudly at hockey and basketball games.
OS: How did your involvement with the Blue Band start?
DU: My involvement with the Blue Band essentially started when I was born. My parents actually met in the Blue Band and my older brother was a Blue Band trumpet legend of his own (his initials are PSU). As soon as I got the acceptance to Penn State I knew I had to be in the band even though my high school did not have a marching band. I have loved every experience I’ve had with the Blue Band, and am highly involved with supporting the Lori Bowers and David Uhazie endowment for the Feature Twirler.
OS: Give us a timeline of your Blue Band career thus far.
DU: As a freshman I tried out on the Alto Saxophone and was lucky to be selected after a competitive audition. I have been heavily involved with the basketball pep band (Pride of the Lions) since freshman year as well. My sophomore year I became a Blue Band Librarian, meaning that I organized and helped distribute music copies to the instrumentalists. After performing for 2,597,314 fans at 28 football games, I was elected president for my senior year.
OS: As President, what does your job entail?
DU: The Blue Band President is chiefly a liaison between the staff and student members. The president works with an officer team and other leaders in the band to make the best possible experience for our members. Additionally, the president will take on a variety of projects throughout the year to enhance the band. The close contact that the president has with visionary director Greg Drane is crucial to the job.
OS: Do you have a favorite Blue Band halftime show from this past season?
DU: This past season, my favorite halftime memory came from the home game against Rutgers. The stripe-out atmosphere was incredible. Our show, titled “We Own the Night” was so much fun to perform and it really seemed like the audience was engaged. It was a moment that Blue Band members live for: to perform in Beaver Stadium in front of 107k strong.
OS: Do you plan on doing anything different than your predecessor, Patrick Burke?
DU: I think that Patrick did an awesome job being a leader during the transition from Dr. Bundy to Mr. Drane. I would like to build off of what Patrick has done and continue moving the Blue Band forward. We have an excellent band front and other talents that we would like to continue to showcase. As college students it’s difficult to make time, but I would love to find more ways for the band to be involved with community service.
OS: What does it take to be a member of the Blue Band? How demanding is the schedule?
DU: There are 323 member of the Blue Band and they are some of the most impressive students on campus who manage their schedules extremely well. During the fall semester we have four practices a week and have the busiest days on football Saturday on which we often begin practicing at sunrise and perform until sunset.
OS: If you could pick any song for the Blue Band to perform, what would it be?
DU: We played some Justin Timberlake for our Rutgers halftime show, which was a big hit. I’d love to throw it back to old school JT with NSYNC, “Bye Bye Bye” and include a full band breakdown dance of “Bye Bye Bye.”
OS: What are the top five most played songs on your iPod or Spotify?
- What Do You Mean? – Justin Bieber
- FUN – Pitbull ft. Chris Brown
- Wild Wild West (Matoma Remix) – Will Smith
- The Planets – Gustav Holst (Study Music)
- Nittany Lion Special – Penn State Blue Band
OS: If you were a dinosaur, which would you be and why?
DU: If Jurassic World were true, I would want to be an Indominus Rex because the Indominus Rex can communicate with all other dinosaurs. Also, I recommend EARTH 150: Dinosaur Extinctions and Other Controversies as a class if anyone needs general science credits; it is one of my favorite classes so far.