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APSU marching band to feature 500 musicians for Nov. 7 game

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – John Schnettler, director of the Austin Peay State University Marching Band, has a friendly, easy-going personality, but he might seem a little distracted during APSU’s final home game on Saturday, Nov. 7. That’s because his 150-member Governors’ Own Marching Band (GOMB) will add about 350 additional musicians for that day’s half-time performance. Hopefully, the resulting 500-member ensemble will mesh well after only a few hours of rehearsing.

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – John Schnettler, director of the Austin Peay State University Marching Band, has a friendly, easy-going personality, but he might seem a little distracted during APSU’s final home game on Saturday, Nov. 7. That’s because his 150-member Governors’ Own Marching Band (GOMB) will add about 350 additional musicians for that day’s half-time performance. Hopefully, the resulting 500-member ensemble will mesh well after only a few hours of rehearsing.

“I sent them the music ahead of time, and we’re going go to the stadium that morning and learn the drill together,” he said. “It adds an element of excitement to see everyone work together and learn the material so quickly.”

The guest musicians will be coming from high schools across the state for the rare opportunity to perform during a college football game with a collegiate band.

“It’s an event called GOMB Day, where these high school students get to be Governors for a day,” Schnettler said. “In high school, bands are usually 60-80 people, so to be part of a 500-member band will be thrilling for them.”

The fourth annual event serves primarily as a recruiting day by allowing top musicians from across Tennessee to be part of the famed Governors’ Own Marching Band.

“The band is a point of pride for the University, and that helps our students keep the bar high,” Schnettler said. “They recognize how important it is.”

Because of the GOMB’s professionalism, Schnettler said Saturday’s game will let music lovers experience a spectacular performance when more than 500 instruments come together harmoniously. The Nov. 7 game against Southeast Missouri begins at 4 p.m.