Highlander Pep Band

The History

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, until about the year 2000.  A sudden lack of interest and general support in the Pep Band caused the group to disband.

By this time. UCR's men's basketball team had started playing Division 1.  After a few years of struggling, the team began to improve significantly.  By Fall 2005, both the men's and women's basketball teams were doing well, but the Athletics department along with the Student Life Office were wondering, where is the pep band?  By Winter 2006, the Highlander Pep Band was reborn under the leadership of Aaron Wharton and supervision of Bill Helms.

In 2008, the Highlander Pep Band became a registered student organization to help market itself and become more accessible to the UCR community.  Today, under the new direction of Geovanni Mayoral, the Pep Band is operated out of the Student Life Office and plays at numerous volleyball and basketball home games during the year, along with many other school events as well.  The Pep Band also has the opportunity to travel and support the basketball teams during the Big West Conference in Winter Quarter.

Interested in Joining?

If you are interested in joining the Highlander Pep Band, we just ask of you some things:

  • Attend our weekly rehearsals Mondays and Wednesdays from 7:30pm-8:30pm in Arts 157
  • Show up to play at most of our events (minimum of 15 performances a year)
  • Sign up for our email list so you can stay in the loop
  • Be able to read sheet music
  • Bring a positive attitude - we enjoy humor

We understand you are students with lives, if you cannot make a rehearsal or game due to class or anything else, then we definitely understand.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Can anyone join?
    • Yes!  As long as you can play an instrument and read sheet music, then you are welcome here!
  • Do I have to audition and pay any fees to join?
    • No, we do not have auditions or tryouts, nor do you ever have to pay anything to be a part of Pep Band.
  • What if I don't have an instrument?
    • It's okay, we have instruments!  Please contact us via email in advance so we can make sure we have an instrument for you.
  • Can I get music emailed to me to look at?
    • Absolutely, please email us.  See below.
  • What if I am busy Fall/Winter/Spring Quarter?
    • No worries, you can join at anytime throughout the year!
  • What kind of fun things does the band do throughout the year besides performances?
    • We have socials!  Throughout the year, the band assistants will plan fun events and activities for the members of the Pep Band.  We want everyone to get to know each other outside of rehearsals and performances.

Contact Information:

Please stop by HUB 229 or email if you're interested.

Check us out on our social media:

Youtube: Highlander Band 

Instagram: @ucrpepband

Highlander Band Set List
  • Fight Song (Brave Scots)
  • Big “C”
  • UCR Alma Mater
  • “Land of a Thousand Dances”
  • “Irresistible”
  • “Shut up and Dance with Me”
  • “All the Small Things”
  • “Holiday”
  • “Hey Baby”
  • “Uptown Funk”
  • “Thank You”
  • "Locked Out of Heaven"
  • “Louie Louie”
  • “Jungle Boogie”
  • "Hold on I'm Comin'"
  • "Love Never Felt So Good"
  • "September"
  • "Thriller"
  • "Uma Therman"
  • “Impression That I Get”
  • "Bad Guy"
  • "Bye Bye Bye"
  • “Tear the Roof Off (Give Up the Funk)”
  • "Feel it Still"
  • “Seven Nation Army”
  • “Runaway Baby”
  • "Say Amen (Saturday Night)"
  • "Master of Puppets"
  • "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light 'em Up)"
  • “Thanks for the Memories
  • “Bad Romance"
  • "No Roots"
  • "Ain't Nothing Wrong with That"
  • "Can't Hold Us"
  • "I Don't Care"
  • "Forget You"
  • "Basket Case"
  • "Take on Me"