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Can You Still Hear It?

Ronald Campbell ‘98

Do you remember? Do you remember how it felt the first time? I do. 

In my mind, I can see myself in front of Wilson Library. The warm-up chorale begins. Then, cadence erupts. Finally, we march down Stadium Drive through a crowd of fans and the Rams Head lot. Pregame starts and 50,000 fans scream in unison. 

Can you see yourself back in those stands? Do you remember all of the work it took to get to that point? The heat of August, Rainbow Fields and going back to rooms without air conditioning… always thankful for the opportunity. I can never forget. 

Soon, a new generation of Marching Tar Heels will gather in Hill Hall. There will be nervous freshmen, know-it all sophomores, juniors and, well, seniors. As alumni, we  know how good they have it. They can’t possibly know, but maybe, just maybe they do. 

What would I give to have another chance to be young and carefree with fall in Chapel Hill just around the corner? Since I can’t go back to those heady days of the 90s, I can do the next best thing. I can help to make sure this current iteration of the Marching Tar Heels have the experience they deserve. 

I was excited to have the chance to participate in an alumni association for UNC Bands. As alumni, we are in a unique position to assist the program. Maybe we can provide financial assistance to purchase new equipment or fund trips for the band. Maybe we can mentor a band member in a field they are interested in. Maybe we can provide a home cooked meal for a member who is far from home. 

I don’t have all of the answers. What I do have is a love for Chapel Hill, a love for Carolina and a desire to give back to a program that provided me with experiences and friends that have lasted far beyond my days as a student. Whether you are close to Chapel Hill or far away, Carolina is always there with you. 

Now, we have a chance to reconnect. This is the group you’ve been waiting for. Don’t wait. Do you remember? Close your eyes and trust me, you’ll be back before you know it.


Member Spotlight: Sophie Therber “Being in band has helped me to become a better person.” — Sophie Therber ‘22 UNCBAA is kicking off a new series to highlight current members. We will learn some of their favorite band memories, their role in the band and what they are doing today. First up, we have SophieContinue reading

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Member Spotlight: Sophie Therber

“Being in band has helped me to become a better person.”

— Sophie Therber ‘22

UNCBAA is kicking off a new series to highlight current members. We will learn some of their favorite band memories, their role in the band and what they are doing today. First up, we have Sophie Therber, a recent graduate from the Class of 2022.

Q: What instrument did you play?

A: Alto sax!

Q: What are you up to now?

A: Right now, I am an intern through Student Action with Farmworkers at the Good Samaritan Clinic in Morganton, NC. The clinic is a NC Farmworker Health Program site, so I help provide health care to farmworkers at the clinic and by traveling to farmworker housing in the area. I’ve really enjoyed this opportunity to work somewhere that is making such a difference in the movement towards farmworker justice, and I am learning so much.

Q: How did UNC Bands prepare you for what you are currently doing?

A: Being in band has helped me to become a better person. UNC Bands encouraged me to be myself when working with others to reach a common goal, and I feel more comfortable in leadership roles because of my experience in band. Additionally, being an MTH Volunteers coordinator helped me to prioritize service in my everyday life, which will no doubt continue to apply to my post-graduation plans.

Q: What is your favorite UNC Bands memory?

A: Although I have so many great band memories, nothing compares to being in the pep band when we beat Duke in the Final Four in New Orleans! Traveling with the band was a dream come true, and the energy in the Superdome was incredible. I truly have never experienced anything like it. It was so emotional and exciting, and I feel so grateful to have had the opportunity to be there in-person.

Q: What is a fun fact about yourself?

A: My fun fact is that after I complete this internship, I am headed to Spain to work as a volunteer at a family farm in Seville! I am so excited and grateful for this opportunity, and I can’t wait to travel abroad for the first time.


Can You Still Hear It? Ronald Campbell ‘98 Do you remember? Do you remember how it felt the first time? I do.  In my mind, I can see myself in front of Wilson Library. The warm-up chorale begins. Then, cadence erupts. Finally, we march down Stadium Drive through a crowd of fans and the RamsContinue reading