It’s Friday night at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse. People cheer, take videos and dance. Music fills the air. But there is no announcer, no cheerleaders, no basketball team or court. This is the concourse area, where the Center Grove Pep Band is having the time of their lives.
On February 26, band director Joseph Lapka took fourteen musicians from the Center Grove Pep Band to perform for an hour at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse before the basketball game between the Indiana Pacers and the Charlotte Hornets. The Pep Band had never performed at a Pacer’s game before.
“The reason we did it this year, specifically, was because it was in association with the Center Grove Education Foundation Night,” Lapka said.
The night was put on by the Center Grove Education Foundation in an effort to raise money for the scholarships the foundation provides to students. The fourteen students that performed, however, were only a small portion of the Pep Band.
“We’re taking a smaller group so that the logistics are not quite so big of a deal,” Lapka said.
Sophomore Tim Grotzer and Junior Joseph Ward were two of the fourteen musicians in attendance. Their feedback on the night was positive.
“It was a good experience for the Pep Band,” Grotzer said. “My favorite part was how close the game got towards the end.”
After their performance, the members of the Pep Band were able to watch the Pacers’ game. The game ended with a win for the Hornets, 96-95 over the Pacers.
The Pep Band was received well by the game attendees, and the musicians are thankful for that.
“The reception we got when we were playing was nice,” Ward said.
Aside from the halftime show by the Pep Band, elementary school students were also selling tickets for the game and were allowed to make free throws at the end of the game. The Center Grove Education Foundation made the Pacers game a “Center Grove Night,” and the Pep Band was the center of it.