With the upcoming release of their second CD, we decided to catch up with two alumni members of UMBC’s Down and Dirty Dawg Band (DDDB) (Matt Basch ’08, information systems and ’10 M.S., information systems, Director of the DDDB and Paul Swenson ’06, computer science, Producer) to see why they love being a part of the nationally recognized pep band.
Q: What is the DDDB and why is it important?
Paul: The pep band [also known as the DDDB] is a musical and marching ensemble sponsored by Athletics that provides its members with a chance to perform fun tunes, become engaged with school spirit at UMBC sporting events and even earn some money through part-time employment opportunities.
Matt: The mission is to support the Athletic Department and the university through music and spirit. Whether it’s 20 degrees and snowing during one of the winter basketball games, or 100 degrees with the sun blazing during the Catonsville and Arbutus 4th of July parades, you’ll experience unbridled enthusiasm and exceptional playing from this band.
Q: Why do you (and others) continue to play even as alumni?
Paul: The UMBC Spirit Group [band, drumline, cheerleaders, dance team, fever retrievers and tumbling squad] sponsors an alumni day each year. It’s a great way to connect with past and present members of the group – and to reconnect with a group that played an important role in one’s undergraduate/graduate career.
Matt: Getting to hop on the drumset and play music with the [UMBC Spirit] Group is one of my favorite parts of the season. The Down and Dirty Dawg band is like a big extended family.
Matt: It’s amazing to see the connection between current members, alumni, parents, faculty, and the community as a whole. The support means the world to the band – and helps validate what we’re doing!
Q: What are some of the benefits of staying involved as alumni?
Matt: The best part about being a DDDB alum is that you get to keep playing with us!
Paul: Having the opportunity to volunteer my time for an organization that I strongly believe in has been truly amazing. I sincerely hope UMBC is always able to maintain its reputation of having the best pep band and most spirit in America East!
Help the Dawg Band Put Out Their New CD
Consider making a gift to the Down and Dirty Dawg band to help them produce their second CD.
This project is a part of UMBC’s Giving Tuesday campaign.