The band was founded in 2006. The committee responsible for bringing the band into existence was chaired by Jerrold Stein, then Dean of Students and now Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students; Perry Goldstein, Director of the Undergraduate College of Arts, Culture, and Humanities; Jim Fiore, Athletic Director; and Josh Cheuvront, Graduate Student Assistant. They named John Leddy to be the first Director of Athletic Bands.
A three-day Band Camp was held September 1-3, 2006. During this camp 20 courageous and enthusiastic musicians came together and formed an indelible bond. They survived marching practice during the height of tropical storm Ernesto and presented themselves for their first public performance in front of 5,000 incoming freshmen and transfer students during the New Student Convocation on September 3.
The band had its debut performance during Wolfstock 2006, Homecoming weekend on October 6 and 7. Band uniforms arrived on October 3 and members were quickly fitted over the next two days. The band performed at the Homecoming Parade through Wolfstock Village and at the football game. Navneet Singh was selected to be the first drum major.
Band members grew quite close to one another and organized a student-run pasta party the night before the final football game on October 28. The band's first season formally ended with a banquet held in the beautiful Wang Center right on campus on November 28, 2006, with president Shirley Strum Kenny in attendance.
A year for growth
Many changes accompanied the band's second year. The season with its first first full week of band camp including a special two-day workshop for the leadership team (section leaders and executive board). The program was proud to open its newly renovated band space which had storage for all instruments and uniforms as well as a lounge and practice space for band members. Navneet Singh spent his second year as drum major and Geoffrey Bansen took the role of assistant drum major.
During the football season the band performed a pregame show that consisted of the fanfare from the film “Ben-Hur”, the Victory Song (first SB drill!) and the Stony Brook Alma Mater. The band performed two halftime shows at five games – a Blues Brothers show and a Billy Joel show which featured music arranged especially for the band by Jerry Kelsey.
Season Two also saw the size of the band more than double to 70 students as the program added color guard and a color guard instructor, Jenn Bigus. The program also added a drumline instructor, Jeffrey Butterfield. The staff still included graduate student directors Josh Cheuvront and Shayna Corapi. This was the first full season with Assistant Dean of Students Jeffrey Barnett supervising the Athletic Bands program.
Once again, the band performed at all home men’s and women’s basketball games and traveled to the America East Tournament for both teams in March. In addition, the band was named the official pep band for the New York Dragons of the Arena Football League. This was an exciting partnership as the band played at all home Dragons games in Nassau Coliseum. The Dragons presented the band with its first scholarship donation of $25,000.
"So Far So Fast." Past President Kenny often used this expression to describe the rapid growth of Stony Brook University and its quick ascension into the realm of elite research universities. The quote can also be used to describe the progression of the marching band from the "original 20" band members at the first band camp in August of 2006 to its status today. The program reached an important milestone late in July of 2008 when registration for the marching band (MUS 268) reached 100 students. This affirmed the impact the band has had on the Stony Brook campus and is an indicator of great days ahead!
The message remains unchanged: "Join the Band and Go Seawolves!"