Texas Tech's first game of the season is only three days away and Red Raiders across the South Plains are gearing up for the big weekend. You can expect a big change on the field this year. After 23 years, Goin' Band Director Keith Bearden stepped down and now a new leader takes the reigns.
You've heard the saying 'they march to the beat of their own drum' but in this case, the Goin' Band from Raiderland is marching under the direction of a new leader. Christopher Anderson, has taken charge of the Goin' Band. He comes to Raiderland after three years at Stephen F. Austin. So he has the experience, but also has big shoes to fill.
"It's a little bit intimidating, when you come in and someones been in place for 23 years they have all of their massive history and everybody associates the going band with Keith Bearden right now and I think that's tough for anyone, but Mr. Bearden has given such great dedication and support to the program that he set up the students very well for the transition and he's been a great support for me," said Christopher Anderson, the TTU Band Director.
The Goin' Band is one of the largest in the South West, they march more than 400 members, and its takes serious dedication, pride and determination to make it work.
"I think they've done a great job, one of the hardest things to do is to move into a new system when you've been under an old system for a very long time like some of the veteran members have been and they have been extremely flexible with the new system, they've asked a lot of questions and their attitude has been fantastic," says Anderson.
The band is opening with a western show, a theme they've traditionally chosen every two or three years. They say fans can expect high energy music and songs everyone loves. "It's been really really exciting because Mr Anderson has so many great new ideas, and he's clarifying a bunch of stuff and it's been really exciting," said Julie Darling, a third year band member.
"Its been a big change, Mr Bearden leaving was a big shock to everybody and we all miss him a lot. But Mr Anderson came in kicking and he's done an excellent job of incorporating our traditions and bringing in new things," David Ehmer, a 5th year band member said.
Band members started practicing Sunday and they've been goin strong ever since, they practice 8 to 10 hours a day, until game time.