'Baldwin Club' makes mark in University of Pittsburgh band
A purple and white spirit towel with the Baldwin-Whitehall logo remains a source of pride just as much as the navy blue and Vegas gold uniforms do for the eight Baldwin High School alumni who performed in the University of Pittsburgh's marching band during the 2012 season.
The students — Mary Tkach, Nick Rubenstein, Brett Mullen, Sam Garrow, Jared Andes, John Obeid, Scott Thompson and Alex Honeygosky — prepare to play and cheer for the Panthers' appearance in the BBVA Compass Bowl vs. Ole Miss in Birmingham, Ala., on Saturday.
For all of them, Pitt band served as a great way to transition into college life with the support of fellow Fighting Highlanders in what they call “The Baldwin Club.”
“We're trying to get more Baldwin kids in it to try to build our numbers,” said Honeygosky, a sophomore computer engineering major, who transferred from Pitt's Greensburg campus last semester. “You can never have enough of us.”
Honeygosky, a drummer, said joining the band helped him make friends easily.
Likewise, Obeid, a senior chemical engineering major and trumpet player, spent last year recruiting his friends at Baldwin who planned to attend the University of Pittsburgh in the fall. Obeid invited Tkach, a tuba player and freshman geology major, and Rubenstein, a freshman chemical engineering major and trumpet player, to play with him and the pep band during a Pitt basketball game last year.
Rubenstein then recruited his best friend, Mullen.
“It's just a whole other level of fun,” Obeid said. “I feel like high school began when I joined ... Ironically, the same thing happened in college. I feel like college started when I joined.”
Tkach said she agrees.
“You just feel a sense of family,” Tkach said. “It's just a sense of community ... We've been friends throughout high school.”
For Rubenstein and the rest of the Baldwin band alums, who adhered to intense competition and practice schedules, there is humor when other non-Baldwin marchers complain about routines and long hours, he said. Pitt's band is a bit more relaxed, the Baldwin grad said.
“They complain if we go over an hour at practice,” Rubenstein said. “It's so much fun — very rewarding, too.”
Obeid looks back at his Baldwin competition days with pride.
“We were very intense at Baldwin,” Obeid said. “We come from a strong background.”
For Thompson, a senior electrical engineering major and baritone player, the practicing and performances are a great way to organize time and relieve stress, he said.
“We just go out there and have fun,” Thompson said. “It really relieves a lot of stress.”
It also helps that marching band merchandise and trips to games mostly are free for the students, he said.
Andes, a freshman who plans to major in mechanical engineering, always knew that he'd join Pitt's marching band, just like his two older brothers before him. He also rooms with Garrow, a freshman history major and trombone player.
“I've been around it so long that I really want to do it, too,” Andes said.
“That was one of the easiest ways to show my support for the school ... I can't wait to go see us play another game and hopefully win.”
Laura Van Wert is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5814 or at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- South Hills talent at center stage for ‘Chorus Line’ performance
- New law requires Baldwin Borough residents to get permits for large containers
- Young musical writer’s work to be performed at J.E. Harrison Middle School
- Brentwood considers leasing newly built municipal center
- Baldwin High School latest stop on High School Nation tour
- Baldwin UP planning flea market, dinner
- Plenty of treats for Halloween in South Hills