It’s not often you hear a marching band play Pomp and Circumstance. But Monday night’s Boca Raton Bowl pep rally in Mizner Amphitheater included something different this year: Graduation.
Fifteen team members couldn’t make their University of Alabama at Birmingham’s commencements. They were already in Boca by Friday and Saturday.
So UAB president Dr. Ray L. Watts opened their pep rally by conferring degrees. “We took graduation to Boca,” he said.
Football players wearing UAB color green robes and mortarboards filed on stage to hoots and hollers from their families. “If it wasn’t for them, you wouldn’t be here,” Watts told them.
Then the Blazer’s band struck up their school fight song. And the cheerleaders, dancers, and majorettes threw batons in the air and shook their pom-poms.
The 210-member UAB band took buses for the 14-hour road trip, said Sean Murray, who left Florida Atlantic University after 11 years to be the band director at UAB.
Their team will play Northern Illinois University Huskies at the Boca Raton Bowl at 7 p.m. Tuesday at FAU stadium. Their pep rally was in CityPlace in West Palm Beach.
By Marci Shatzman