The Highlander Pep Band was originally composed of the UCR Jazz Band and some members of the community led by William (Bill or Willie) Helms. They would average about 20 performers per game and played everything from popular music to classic jazz tunes. This was the way it was for about 30 years. All the up until about the year 2000 when suddenly there was no more Highlander Pep Band. For some reason the students in the group lost interest and those that wanted to continue didn’t have the support so they disappeared.
At this point our Men’s basketball team had just started playing in division 1 and after a few years of struggling had started to improve significantly. By Fall of 2005 both the men’s and women’s basketball teams were doing well and the athletics department along with the student life office were wondering why there wasn’t pep band to cheer on our teams anymore. By Winter of 2006 the Highlander Pep Band was reborn under the leadership of Aaron Wharton and supervision of Bill Helms.
The following years were spent building the band and trying inform the student population that yes we have a band and that they too can come play and have fun. In 2008 Highlander Pep Band became a registered student organization to help market themselves and be more accessible to the UCR community.
No matter what instrument you play, or what your skill level is, there is a place for you.
Lots of fun; few rules. We just ask that you:
Attend our casual, weekly rehearsals Mondays and Wednesdays from 6-7pm, in Arts 157
Dust off your instrument and join us – let’s make some music and step up the pep.
Phone: (951) 827-3469
Office: HUB 229