Nearly two weeks ago, Cal Band ventured to Maxwell Field to rehearse a distinctive postseason performance, an encore that would cap off a semester of fantastic football and field shows. On a chilly Monday evening, we began learning our continuities to the Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show.
Waiting in ‘alpha order’ to be identified and cleared to enter to field, it was obvious everyone was juggling a mix of excitement and anxiety. Personally, I was ready to high-step my bass drum off and be a part of an undeniably magical and pivotal show, not just in Cal Band history, but in the history of Super Bowl performances. I would be lying if I said the thought of accidentally tripping in front of Gustavo Dudamel didn’t make me nervous. But once the field positions were decided and the yard markers were passed, it was like any other practice.
Despite our brief marching hiatus from winter break, we instantly fell back into rhythm. A pep talk beforehand from our coordinators KP and Shawn set us up to put our best step forward. I’m not sure why, but I expected these Super Bowl reps to be stone-faced suits with no time to spare a college kid’s confusion. I’ve never been more wrong. Both of them were inspirational. Though they made clear what was expected of us, they were constantly having a good time and, most of all, made it abundantly clear they were here to help us perform the best halftime show possible.
In good spirits, we hurried up and waited, enjoyed the company of friends we hadn’t seen over winter break, and when the time came, executed the drill to the best of our ability. I knew full well, as did my friends marching by my side, that this would be one of the biggest opportunities we would ever get to show the world why we do what we love. The Golden Bears were ready to take the Super Bowl by storm.
Ben Pridonoff – Fundraiser Coordinator