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Northwest Missouri State University


News Release

Northwest Director of Athletic Bands Dr. Katy Strickland conducts a Bearcat Marching Band rehearsal with the assistance of an iPad. The band began incorporating the technology into its rehearsals and game day performances this fall.

Northwest Director of Athletic Bands Dr. Katy Strickland conducts a Bearcat Marching Band rehearsal with the assistance of an iPad. The band began incorporating the technology into its rehearsals and game day performances this fall. (Photo by Darren Whitley/University Relations)

Nov. 10, 2014

Bearcat Marching Band perfecting performances with iPads

The marching band uses apps to view music scores, drill charts and record videos to analyze performances.

The marching band uses apps to view music scores, drill charts and record videos to analyze performances.

Bearcat Marching Band student staff use an iPad to discuss performance issues during a Northwest football game.

Bearcat Marching Band student staff use an iPad to discuss performance issues during a Northwest football game. (Bearcat Marching Band photo)

As the Bearcat football team prepares for game day each week – including Saturday’s Fall Classic at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. – it’s not the only Northwest Missouri State University team using video to improve its performance.  

The Bearcat Marching Band began incorporating tablet technology in its rehearsals and game day performances this fall with a set of iPads purchased with the help of an academic initiatives grant.

“Use of these apps limits paper use and waste, and puts several tools in the hands of the student staff,” said Dr. Katy Strickland, director of athletic marching bands at Northwest.

The marching band uses a music app, ForScore, to view music scores, which also are linked to audio files that are played during rehearsals. Drill charts – maps that details band members’ movements on the field – can be uploaded to the app and annotated. The app’s tuner and metronome also help to ensure each note’s precision.  

“We can scroll through them as if we’re flipping pages, zoom in or draw annotations on the screen,” said Amanda Mather, a graduate assistant with the Bearcat Marching Band who also played five years with the ensemble as a Northwest undergraduate. “Some people lose drill charts very easily, so it’s nice to have the iPads, and when they’re warming up I can follow along with the music and provide assistance.”

Another app, Coach's Eye, allows the band to video record and analyze its performances. Band members can view the marked-up video during rehearsals and through a closed YouTube channel.

“It makes it easier to diagnose problems and fix things,” said Ryan Linke, a senior elementary music education major from Clarinda, Iowa is who is the band’s trumpet section leader. “You record it once and then you can watch that video 12 times to find every issue. It makes the problem-solving process a lot smoother.” 


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468