Pep Band Brings the Fun to the Southwest Community


Tate Tritabaugh, Featured Writer

Southwest’s marching and pep bands have been bringing the school spirit at athletic events and parades throughout the fall.

Band students have represented the performing arts program at three football games and a couple of volleyball matches so far. They kicked off the school year marching at the Minnesota State Fair and led the homecoming parade around the neighborhood. This October, the pep band traveled to all of Southwest’s feeder middle schools to perform short concerts.

All of these events are part of the band’s effort to engage with the community. To that point, Southwest band director Reid Wixson said, “we need to constantly be sharing the positive aspects of our school as too often community members hear about and focus on some of the negative behaviors. We need to control the narrative about what our school is really about… [we are] the public-facing image of our school.”

Wixson also said, “pep band in the stands really enhances the culture of the event by adding energy and more spectators”. 

Sitting with the pep band, it’s clear that the fans aren’t the only ones enjoying the band’s energy. Charlie Hanson ‘25, attends as many band events as he can, because “it’s fun, I like playing music, and I get to hang out with friends”. 

William Sulivan ‘26 also enjoys pep band and added, “the music we play is fun”. You can often hear the band performing popular songs like “Respect”, “Sweet Caroline”, and “Industry Baby”.

One of Mr. Wixson’s favorite parts is being able to “get out and play for more audience members that otherwise would not come to a concert in our auditorium”. He also looked ahead to the impact the band’s events will have years from now. “For the marching stuff… we always see little kids, especially, come out to the sidewalk or cheer on from their front steps and that makes me very happy because these are our future Lakers!”, he said. 

Additionally, Wixson loves hearing students from 9-12th grade “making music together and building community”. 

If you haven’t heard them yet, you can catch the pep band at select basketball games this winter.

Wixson made sure to thank the Southwest Foundation and performing arts boosters for funding and supporting all of the band’s efforts this fall, from transportation to pizza parties.