Maverick Machine Keeps Drumming Up School Spirit

Bailey Brendel ® Staff Writer |

A common sight at sporting events and around campus, the Minnesota State University, Mankato Maverick Machine is known for its loud and exciting musical performances. 

Director of Maverick Machine Michael Thursby commented on the organization, “We provide music and spirit for athletic events, but we are more than that. The Machine is also a community for students to come basically from all across campus to play music and just kind of hang out and be together.” 

While the organization is primarily a marching band, the students play a large mixture of music genres, including hip hop, pop, and musical theater. 

The band includes students with skills in marching band, pep band, percussion, color guard, and baton twirling in order to bring together a wide variety of people with different backgrounds in music. 

Students involved in the Maverick Machine will receive many opportunities while in the program. While there are performances to cheer on the athletic teams, there are also travel opportunities for the musicians.

“In a normal year when there is no pandemic, there is usually a travel opportunity for the Maverick Machine. In the past, we’ve been to Puerto Rico and Hawaii to explore new music and enjoy what’s outside of Minnesota,” Thursby commented.

Continuing off of this, Thursby explained, “Performing at the sporting events also allows students to play for almost every sport, to get into the sporting events for free, and just be involved in what it is to be a Maverick and be involved in the culture of the entire University.”

According to Senior Mav Machine member, Brook Ford, “Becoming a member of the Maverick Machine has been one of my best decisions. I have made lifelong friendships, had many opportunities for traveling and performing in places I would have never thought, and made some of my favorite memories with my Mav Fam.” 

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Maverick Machine has been putting on virtual performances to still entertain the MSU campus community. 

Recently, the band completed their second virtual show called ‘Hope’. The purpose of this show was to help bring people virtually together during a time when hope is needed. This performance used songs from Lizzo and the musical Hamilton to entertain audience members of all kinds. Fans of the Maverick Machine can watch this showcase on Youtube.  

Moving into the spring semester, the Machine has another virtual performance called ‘Tribal Effect’ planned, with the release date to be announced on the band’s Facebook page. 

Even with the plans for another virtual showcase for this upcoming semester, the band is hopeful they will have the opportunity to have an in-person show by the end of the semester.

The Mav Machine is always looking for new members to join their community. There is no cost in being in this program. The band provides large instruments to students, and each student is provided with a full uniform at the beginning of the semester. 

They meet twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 – 7:00 pm. Students looking to join the machine can find more information on the MNSU website or can contact Michael Thursby at michael.thursby@mnsu.edu.

Header photo: Members of the Maverick Machine band practice while being socially distant and adhering to COVID-19 guidelines in the fall. (Gage Cureton/KEYC News Now)

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