Maverick Machine prepares to bring the noise

For the Maverick Machine, this past Friday marked the end of a week’s worth of preparation for the fall sports season at Minnesota State University, Mankato. With this semester being the first normal year for the band since 2019 due to COVID-19, the dedication is strong and the energy is stronger. 

Michael Thursby has directed the Maverick Machine since its rebirth in 2013. 

“As we finish up this year, we’ll start celebrating our 10th anniversary. One of the themes that came up was the amount of time that we’ve had, and the time that we’ve lost through COVID,” said Thursby. “The opening statement is the theme from Stranger Things. We play “Clocks” by Coldplay, and then “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper.”

This year’s halftime show, which will be performed at home football games, is titled “The Time Machine.” Rehearsals ran all day during the week of August 15, with marching fundamentals, drill formations and music rehearsals. 

Members of the Maverick Machine arrived on campus beginning Saturday, August 13. Among the first to return to rehearsal was the drumline. 

Senior Claire Hussey is one of two drumline captains and a chemistry major. 

“We have three main cadances that we need to learn by the time the rest of the band arrives on Monday, and we also have the same amount of music the band does for the halftime show,” said Hussey.

Hussey also explained that she thinks the band’s energy is great this season.

 “We have a lot of energy and it’s a lot of positive energy. It’s amazing to see and be around. That positivity is something I don’t think I’ve seen this late into band camp,” added Hussey. 

Senior music education major Brent Eckstron also noted the high spirits of the band. 

“Comparing to previous years with COVID, everyone is excited to be back. That’s bringing the level of performance up a notch. Everyone is leading for themselves, and leading the group toward bigger and better things,” said Eckstron. “The level that we’re at this year is ten times where we’ve been in previous years. That goes for sound, marching and everything else.” 

Fall is the busiest time of year for the Maverick Machine as there are several events the Maverick Machine perform at.

“I really like Homecoming week. The bonfire, the parades, and the football game, the energy surrounding that weekend– I think that’s the best event that we do in the fall,” said Eckstron.

The Maverick Machine is one of numerous music ensembles on campus, and Thursby urges incoming students to try and continue passions from previous years at college. 

“My advice is just to keep playing. It’s a great way to come to a college campus and meet a lot of people right away, and feel more comfortable. It’s a fun way to keep playing music. It’s fun to be able to do something as a hobby,” said Thursby. “If your major is super intensive, then you can come play in the band to destress. Thats the goal.” 

The Maverick Machine will finish 2022 in Rome, Italy this December.

Header Photo: The Maverick Machine makes itself present at various MSU sporting events. Bringing the noise to Boston last spring, they are well-known to hype up the crowds especially at the hockey games. (Mansoor Ahmad/The Reporter)

Write to Alexandra Tostrud at Alexandra.Tostrud@mnsu.edu

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