FC: Notre Dame vs Oklahoma 2012 Memories of an "Epic" Trip
6: Dana Coury, Sophomore, Drumline Leading up to the game the Oklahoma fans were nothing short of being absolutely wonderful to us. They kept thanking us for coming and telling us how excited they were for us to be there. There truly isn't anything like Southern Hospitality. Linda Terron, St Mary's Sophomore, Piccolo My favorite part of the Oklahoma trip was spending time with my band family. Bethany Emenhiser, St Mary's Senior, Piccolo I really enjoyed being able to do the service opportunity at the Children's Center. It was awesome to see the joy that the children had being able to march along with us, interact with the band members and be able to see the smiles on their faces. I also enjoyed being able to see the children after the performance and get to talk to them and share our love of music with them. Taylor Kelly, Freshman, Clarinet Performing at the Children's Center was the highlight of the trip for me! It was amazing to see how directly our music can influence the lives of other people. All of the kids were so happy! Even though we had just gotten off of a very long bus ride, this performance made it all worth it! It didn't matter how tired or sore I was from the trip or lack of sleeping. Everyone at the Children's Center from the adults down to the kids were so excited to see the Notre Dame band. Whether they were Oklahoma fans or ND fans, we all came together to give back to the kids through music, and that was beautiful! Adam Farchone, Freshman, Saxophone My favorite experience of the Oklahoma trip was when we played at the Children's Center. It was such a great feeling to give the kids hope and create a special moment for them. Our performance could have been the only opportunity any of them will ever have to meet the Notre Dame Band, so I was glad to make it memorable for them. After we played, I went around and gave high-fives to a group of the kids, and it was something I'll never forget
8: Mike Kane, Sophomore, Baritone To the Ricci Family, my deepest thanks for granting us the opportunity to have an epic weekend with the Notre Dame Band in Oklahoma. From the moment we stepped off the bus at the Children's Center leading up to our presence at the football game, I felt overwhelmingly blessed and humbled to be a member of such an outstanding band and force for good in the world. Seeing the smiling faces of children and the signs they made for us at the hospital gave me chills and reminded me how we can make a difference in other peoples' lives every day, especially through musical performance. Trenton Jackson, Senior, Trombone The best feeling, by far, was when we went to the children's hospital. I gave a lot of kids some hi-fives, and it was really fulfilling and enriching, to be able to make some kids so happy through the use of music. Alexandra Hippen, Sophomore, Trumpet Visiting the children's center was very moving. We were short on time to do too much, but it was lovely to help expose them to a little more music and show them some of the opportunities attending a university can offer. Tiffany Miller, St Mary's Junior, Trombone My favorite experience by far was playing for the kids at The Children's Center. The staff was awesome and the BBQ they provided was great. But even better was getting to talk to the son of one of the staff members who had just started playing trombone. Giving him advice about school and music was a cool experience. Having a march-out around the hospital for all the children was amazing. Seeing the joy on the kids faces made me realize what great things I get to do through the band. It was an experience I will never forget.
11: Matt Greene, Holy Cross Freshman, Trumpet [I enjoyed] the game itself. There was so much energy, and we got a very awesome win. The atmosphere was fun, and we played to make an impact on the game. I believe we did! Patrick Revord, Senior, Falto As the band began to play the 'Notre Dame Our Mother' at the Oklahoma Children's Center, our young audience flooded forward and joined arms with the cheerleaders, swaying back and forth to the Alma Mater. It was very emotional for me to watch the crowd, young and old, acknowledge our University's and our band's greater mission, as described by Father Sorin, "to become a powerful force for good." Greta Hurlbut, Senior, Falto This was truly one of those games that we will remember for the rest of our lives. The pregame was certainly a show, especially with the flag that covered most of the field and the Sooner Schooner shooting around the end zone. But I'm so grateful for the opportunity to see the game itself in person, especially all of those great plays by the Irish. I still can't believe that interception by Manti. 8 and 0! Go Irish! Mike Reinsvold, Sophomore, Clarinet Obviously, the most memorable moment from the weekend was winning the game and the celebration that ensued. This was the first time in a couple weeks that we knew we were going to win long before the last whistle. What I will remember most is not the waves of red and white fans leaving the stadium early, but the look on our drum major's face. When we scored the last touchdown, I looked down a couple rows, and I saw Leo, with his arms in a V and his face frozen in a look of such indescribable joy that I couldn't help but smile a little harder myself. For me, nothing could more accurately sum up what it feels to be a part of Notre Dame than that moment.
12: Jackie Werner, Saint Mary’s Freshman, Piccolo Seeing the faces of the children at the children center and how thrilled they were that we marched and played for them! Andrew Jensen, Freshman, Saxophone My most inspirational moment was when we were at the Children's Center and being able to see the kids who were even Oklahoma fans to be happy to hear our music and all give us high-fives after our performance for them. The kindness the Oklahoma band showed us also was very nice and inspiring. Mary Kate Walsh, Sophomore, Piccolo Playing at the Children's Center in Bethany, Oklahoma on Friday afternoon was one of the most humbling experiences; it showed us all how truly blessed we are to be a part of such a wonderful university and band program. Everyone at the center was so incredibly welcoming, it was a pleasure to share the beauty and power of music with them, and most especially, with the admirable children that gathered around. Betsy FizGerald, Junior, Clarinet My most inspirational moment at the game was when I got to see some of my friends in the OU band. Because I'm so far away from home, I usually don't see my friends except for during the summers or over Christmas break. In this case, I hadn't seen many of my friends in the OU band for well over a year. It was so wonderful to see them all and to see what gracious hosts they were being to us. It made me feel so close to home in a place that was very far away. Joseph Albert, Freshman, Trumpet My favorite part of the trip was when we were walking out of the stadium after the game and all of the remaining Notre Dame fans were just so happy, congratulating us, cheering "Go Irish" and "WE ARE ND," and just enjoying the victory. We definitely played a role in the Irish victory and to have our own fans appreciate us meant a lot.
15: Theresa Saad, Freshman, Drumline Believe it or not, the most inspirational part of this trip for me was at the High School performance. When Dr. Dye asked who in the stands was an Oklahoma fan, and an obvious majority were indeed rooting for the other team, I was immediately taken aback at the depth and meaning of the 'Notre Dame Family'. It was amazing to me that even though all of these fans would be cheering for another team on the field, that they would come to this high school just to support the band and watch us play. Erin Brown, Saint Mary’s Senior, Falto Hands down the most inspirational part of the trip for me was the performance at the Children's Center. When we played the Alma Mater at the end of our performance, I teared up at the sight of the ND cheerleaders swaying alongside several of the young patients. The afternoon at the hospital was quite humbling in reminding me what an impact we band members can have in conveying the spirit and mission of Notre Dame. Leo Mironovich, Junior, Drum Major My most INSPIRATIONAL experience was undoubtedly playing for the children, students, workers, and family at the Children's Center in Bethany, Oklahoma. This was our first stop on the Oklahoma trip, and our first interaction with the local people of Oklahoma City. My first impression was how gracious they all were, and how excited they were to have us there. From the meal to the staff organizing the event, they were all so cordial and so excited to hear our music and see us march. It was great to see the band respond so positively too. After a 16-hour long bus ride, they were revived by the barbecue and the kids, and they marched through an awkward parking lot with just as much energy as a game-day march-out. I was so proud of our band and so proud of their effort, it was honor to be a part of that. What inspired me the most was seeing all of the little kids come up to the front row when we started our mini-concert in the parking lot. They were so excited and filled with energy. They danced during Rakes, and we all sang the Alma Mater together, shoulder upon shoulder...I was surrounded by these amazing kids singing our Alma Mater, that was a very special and inspirational moment for me.
16: Caroline Proulx, Saint Mary’s Senior, Bass For me, the most inspiring part of the trip was our interactions with local people; whether it was the people feeding us lunch, thanking us for playing for the kids, or the Oklahoma band members giving us water and offering us their congratulations. It reminded me that more important than winning is a positive attitude, helpful hand, and friendly smile. Mariah Flenniken, Sophomore, Trumpet I was so humbled by our experience at the Children's Center in Bethany; I felt so grateful to be able to share music with such amazing people. This was probably the highlight of the trip, being able to make so many kids laugh and smile was truly a blessing. Jennifer Simaz, Saint Mary’s Junior, Piccolo My most inspirational moment of the trip was when we were playing the Alma Mater at the Children's Hospital, and a group of children came up to the cheerleaders and drum majors and swayed to the Alma Mater. That was a moment when I was very grateful for all that I have. I realized that the children at the hospital have to go through a lot of hardships and difficult things, and to play for them was the least we could do to bring joy to their day, even if it was just for a day. Those children will remember that day for a long time and it will bring positive memories to them when they are ever having a tough day. Taylor Corpuz, Sophomore, Clarinet I moved away from my hometown one week after I graduated from high school, leaving my best friend thousands of miles away. One and a half years later, I'm here, he's playing clarinet in Oklahoma's marching band. During the free time we had for dinner/post Sorin's band, he came down to where the busses were and we got to see each other, talk, and hug again for the first time in years. It was, by far, what made the trip worth it for me. After the game was over and the visiting band came to greet us, he fought to the front of the line so I could see him before we left. Reuniting in front of both of the bands on the football field was one of the best band experiences yet.
20: Christina Wiech, Senior, Trumpet The most inspirational moment that I experienced during the Oklahoma trip was getting to spend time with one of the children who watched us perform at the Children's Center. The trumpets spent time talking to this young girl and learning a little bit about her. We were able to connect with her and touch her life through our music, and seeing the joy on her face made our long bus trip to Oklahoma worth it. Katie Mattie, Junior, Falto My most inspirational moment was watching all of the young kids swaying with our drum majors during the alma mater at the Children's Hospital. Catherine O’Donnell, Junior, Piccolo One of the greatest parts to this trip came not during our stay in Oklahoma, but once we had returned to campus. As I recounted the game to my friends at school, many remarked that the Notre Dame Band could be heard loud and clear throughout the television broadcast of the game. One of my roommates even mentioned that the Band could be heard so clearly when playing Celtic Chant that everyone at her game watch started moving their arms to the music, similar to when we play the song in the stadium. It was great to know that our music could be heard not only by the team and Irish fans in Norman, but also that we were able to reach the television audience of Notre Dame fans as well. Thank you for offering us the opportunity to support the University and the team through our music! Caroline Heilmann, Junior, Piccolo I really loved the "Concert on the Steps" at the Children's Center. I enjoyed playing not only for the children who were at the Center, but also all of the other kids from around the area that came to the performance. I loved dancing with them to Rakes and teaching them the cheers. It is really exciting to see how music can bring people of all ages together. Dana Coury, Sophomore, Drumline While many people complained about the bus rides, I think they were one of my favorite parts of the trip. I think people realized if they stopped whining they could actually talk to each other, watch movies, laugh together and create life-long memories with people who are truly a second family to them. Taylor Kelly, Freshman, Clarinet Being able to attend one of the biggest games of the season was also a highlight of this trip. I am so fortunate to say that I was able to see this game in person and marched on the Oklahoma field. I was a great experience to get to meet the other band. Everyone was so welcoming to the whole band and appreciative of our talents! It was great to have fans even from the opposing team tell us "Great job!"
22: Alexandra Hippen, Sophomore, Trumpet It was magical to share such an unexpected win with the band. This band is my family on campus, and I'm sure that's true for most of us. To spend our time cheering and being so overjoyed together was a great bonding experience. It's moments like that which make the time commitment band is so worth it- although I love the musical and service aspects of band, the community is what keeps me involved in it. Matt Greene, Holy Cross Freshman, Trumpet Playing for the Children's Center was truly fantastic. Knowing of the joy it brought to so many children and people brings me joy. I had fun playing for the great people there. We were welcomed warmly. Patrick Revord, Senior, Falto I had the chance to visit the Oklahoma City Memorial Mike Reinsvold, Sophomore, Clarinet There's nothing better about being part of the ND family than performing for our own fans on gameday. There were plenty of them at the game, and they were as enthusiastic and appreciative as ever. What really made the weekend was the fans we met at the high school performance and on the OU campus. Our halftime show was popular both times we performed it, with only a couple boos to be heard during the Victory March. When we walked to and from the stadium and mass, the Sooner fans were very friendly, and a couple random people asked for pictures with us. The people we met this weekend were what made this weekend so great, whether we had won or not. Patrick Revord, Senior, Falto The southern BBQ lunch provided at the Children's Center was delicious -- I only wish I had an extra stomach so I could keep eating! Jackie Werner, Saint Mary’s Freshman, Piccolo We had a completely full stadium for our band practice. It was cool having people come and watch us even if they were HUGE Sooner fans they all cheered for us very loudly. I felt so cool and important that it was such a big deal that we played there. Andrew Jensen, Freshman, Saxophone My most thrilling moment was Manti Teo's interception that closed up the game and allowed us to win the game. The opportunity I had to go to this game with the band was awesome, and I probably will never go to a game as awesome and as such high-of-stakes match-up like that game ever again in my life.
24: Mary Kate Walsh, Sophomore, Piccolo Attending the game was an unforgettable experience in an electrifying atmosphere. Not only did the Irish and the band show up to play, but the Notre Dame fans were so interactive and fun. Being practically all Irish fans at the conclusion of the game and filling the otherwise empty Oklahoma Stadium with the sounds of the Notre Dame victory march and alma mater was truly exhilarating. Betsy FitzGerald, Junior, Clarinet Most thrilling moment: The first touchdown, when my thoughts suddenly became 'Maybe we can actually win this game' Theresa Saad, Freshman, Drumline The most emotional part of this trip for me would definitely be visiting the Children's Hospital. To see that just by showing up and playing for these kids helped brighten their day even just a little bit makes all of the hard work more than worth it. Erin Brown, Saint Mary’s Senior, Falto The most joyful part of the Oklahoma trip was being in the stadium at the end of the game, seeing the deserted stands that had been previously packed with raving OU fans, and celebrating with the jubilant ND fans that were left. I really appreciated being able to contribute, as part of the band, to the intense environment in the stadium during this win. Looking back now at the results of the game, I'm so thankful I was able to experience this piece of ND history first hand! Leo Mironovich, Junior, Drum Major One of the most thrilling experiences for me was simply being in Sooner Stadium for the game. The atmosphere was electric, and the energy that Sooner nation exhibited was really spectacular. It's always intimidating being in an opposing team's stadium, especially at such a high-profile game as this one, but I was confident in our team, in our band, and in our abilities. I knew that, no matter the result, it would be a great day and a great game for Notre Dame on all fronts. Moreover, what impressed me the most during that game was seeing how high-profile it was. There were celebrities on the sideline, such as Kevin Durant! And Kaitlin and I met the president of the university, which was impressive and special. Every second in that stadium was a thrill, and I'm so blessed to have been able to be there and experience that amazing game.
26: Caroline Proulx, St Mary's Senior, Bass Sometimes, we don't realize what we have until we compare ourselves to another group. After the football game, I watched as the Oklahoma team left the stadium. Meanwhile, our team came over to where the band was so we could play the Alma Mater, just as we do after every game. It made me realize what an important part the band plays. Win or lose, every game ends with band, team, and fans sharing in the moment together. Mariah Flenniken, Sophomore, Trumpet I'm actually from Oklahoma, and I'm not typically able to go back home during breaks because of travel expense rates. I was able to see my family and spend some time with them, and for that, I'm truly thankful. My younger sister is also a member of the Pride of Oklahoma and the greatest moment of the game was when I was able to take a picture beside her, me in my Notre Dame uniform, and her in the OU uniform. It meant a lot to my dad and my family; I 'm extremely happy that I got to share the weekend with them. Jennifer Simaz, Saint Mary’s Junior, Piccolo My most enjoyable moment was when we were walking back to the busses after the game because the Oklahoma fans were all saying: "Great game", and thanks for coming to Oklahoma". The reason being is that this moment made me realize that no matter where we go as a band, people will always have a great respect for us because we present ourselves with great class and positivity. Christina Wiech, Senior, Trumpet The most thrilling moment of the trip for me was watching Notre Dame running back Cierre Wood burst through the Oklahoma defensive line and run 62 yards for our first score. When I saw that happen, I knew we actually had a real chance to win the game. Kattie Mattie, Junior, Falto Most thrilling, watching Theo Riddick score a touchdown in the fourth quarter right in front of the band. We knew in that moment that we were 8-0 and everyone started hugging each other. Caroline Heilmann, Junior, Piccolo Being there to support our football team was a very lucky opportunity for me. I sometimes forget how blessed the band is to have a university, alumni, and fans who support us so much. This is a huge season for the football team, which means it is a huge season for the band! I am very grateful that we all get to experience such a wonderful time together. It really speaks to the family aspect of the Notre Dame life.
27: Dana Coury, Sophomore, Drumline, Performing at the Children's Hospital was such a powerful experience for a lot of the band. As hard as we think we work in school, it is nothing compared to the daily struggles those kids have endured their entire lives. Being able to brighten their day or their week or even just that one hour was such an amazing experience, I was so grateful for the opportunity to share the power of music with such strong children. Matt Greene, Holy Cross Freshman, Trumpet The Mass for us was fantastic. I was glad to partake in the Eucharist. The chance to do that was great. I'm glad we built in time for that. It truly made it a Notre Dame trip. Patrick Revord, Senior, Falto The trip offered more experiences for personal development outside of music, football, and camaraderie; while in Oklahoma City, I had the unique opportunity to visit the moving Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial with my section, and the colorful, tropical Myriad Botanical Gardens with a fellow botanist. Thank you, Mr. Ricci, for all of the wonderful experiences packed into this unforgettable weekend. I believe that your gift of lasting memories will be paid forward tenfold as current band members become alumni and remember your generosity, and follow your example of selfless giving to Our Lady's University and to the Band of the Fighting Irish. Andrew Jensen, Freshman Saxophone My most enjoyable moment was being able to spend the whole weekend with my great section of the saxophones and being really able to bond with my section on the trip while also enjoying the game and festivities of the weekend. Betsey FitzGerald, Junior, Clarinet My most enjoyable moment of the trip was hearing the crowd react to our halftime show. While some of the ND fans had seen this show twice already... the OU fans were incredibly impressed. It was wonderful to hear the crowd go from booing us at the beginning of the show to cheering us on when we made the car [formation]. Theresa Saad, Freshman, Drumline The most joyous moment for me was definitely when one of the little girls at the hospital walked up to me and said "I want to play drums like you when I grow up". Hearing that we make that big of a difference in someone's life and seeing the smiles on their faces made me prouder to be in the marching band than ever before. Topping it off with an Irish win wasn't so bad either ;)