The Valparaiso University athletic bands have taken on a variety of forms throughout the school’s history. For several years in the early 1980’s, the Valparaiso University Crusader Marching Band performed at football games, marched in the Popcorn Parade at the annual Popcorn Fest in Valparaiso, and marched around campus in the annual homecoming parade. Members of the marching band also were a part of the Crusader Pep Band that performed at men’s basketball games.
In the mid-late 1990’s, the marching band dissolved and performed exclusively as the Crusader Pep Band. They continued to participate in the Popcorn Festival parade for a time, with a short hiatus in which they only performed for the Popcorn Panic race, another function of the Popcorn Festival. During this time, they performed for football and men’s basketball games. Later on, beginning in 1997, the Pep Band began performing for women’s basketball games as well.
In the early 2000’s, under the direction of Simon Kissler, the band expanded their performance venues to women’s championship soccer, as well as the Mid-Con Conference Tournament, travelling with the men’s basketball team. Since 2007, under the direction of Dan Zeigner and currently Emily Prough, the Pep Band has grown and established itself as an important part of athletic and community events, including men’s and women’s basketball, football, volleyball, and the addition of drumline at soccer matches. Some additional important expansions to the Pep Band include new venues of performance at the Popcorn Fest Parade, Polar Plunge, and Touch a Truck, several pep rallies on Valparaiso University’s campus, and the drumline.
We are currently working on updating the history. We are starting from the very beginning, so please be patient with us as we add information for the past 100 years. Thanks!
All images included in the History section of the website were obtained from the Valparaiso University yearbook archives.