Music in Motion

A pep band and drumline energized football games this Fall, with a full Marching Band set to launch in Fall 2024

The sound of drums, trumpets, and trombones filled the air as football players, cheerleaders, and the dance team took the field on a sunny Saturday afternoon. This Fall marked not only the first season of varsity NCAA DIII football competition, but also the launch of a new Eastern pep band and drumline, with plans to expand into a full marching band next fall. 

“The new pep band and drumline have added amazing energy and school spirit to the football games this year,” said Eric McNelley, Eastern’s Director of Athletics. “The atmosphere at the games was even more exciting than we anticipated.” 

The Eagles played their home games at historic Franklin Field in Philadelphia this season while renovations are in progress on their home field at Valley Forge Military Academy, conveniently located around the corner from the St. Davids campus. 

Eastern has placed the current pep band and the future marching band under the leadership of Dr. Kate Umble Smucker, a professional trumpet player and music educator who has extensive touring and performing experience. She is also the founder and band leader of the King Street Big Band, located in Lancaster. 

“It is always a big challenge to start something from the ground up, but with that challenge comes the energy and excitement of the entire community coming together to build something,” Dr. Smucker shared. “It is our privilege to hear the hopes and dreams for what a marching band can be from so many corners of the EU community and to try to mold that into something that represents us as EU students, alumni, faculty and staff.”

Marcus Myers, a Philadelphia native, is leading the drumline. Marcus has taught at University of the Arts and served as the artistic director for Musicopia’s drumlines in the Philadelphia School District. 

“Gratefulness fills my heart concerning my involvement at Eastern,” he shared. “To create and coach the drumline is a wonderful opportunity. Although we are in the beginning stages, the students I have worked with share a love for music, Eastern, and their peers. I believe exciting days are ahead.” 

Dr. Steven Ford, Executive Director of the Fine and Performing Arts Division, expressed his excitement about these talented leaders and the future of the program. “We are thrilled to launch Eastern’s new Marching Band under such excellent and talented leadership," he shared. "We look forward to the exciting new opportunities that the marching band and drumline will provide for student musicians."