The New John Jay Pep Band: House Band

The John Jay Pep Band had a large presence in the fall of 2021 but was relatively forgotten by the Spring of 2022. By then, the group had suffered the loss of three members: Liz Milliot who went on senior internship, Emma Klares whose time was taken up by sports, and Aurelia Brummel who moved to Wisconsin. Aside from the loss of membership, the Pep Band suffered from a minor scandal. Lindsay MacDonald, who was not a member of the group, created a fake Instagram account @johnjaypepband, which posted inappropriate comments about individuals in the Wind Ensemble. When this was brought to the attention of the school administration, they briefly considered canceling the Pep Band altogether.  

Even though the band has survived many hurdles before, it could not shake its newly acquired poor reputation and struggled to gain new members in the Fall of 2022. At this point, Jared Henderson, Band Director and creator of the Pep Band, felt it was time to rebrand. Not only did he rename the group to “House Band,” he recruited a new guitarist, drummer, and keyboardist. Instead of playing marching band style instrumentals as the band had previously, the House Band will feature real vocals. Instead of hearing an average high school band, listeners will experience live cover music—creating a new environment compared to the old group. 

Even though the band has yet to make a public appearance, singer Maddie Galgano thinks it is well worth the wait. “Mr. Henderson is a professional and he knows what he’s doing. Even though we won’t be able to play at the football game on October 7th, we will appear at a later game and we’re gonna sound great.” When the band does finally make an appearance, I am confident it will be warmly accepted by the John Jay community. “I’m excited that the House Band will be making a return to John Jay,” said Class of 2023 President, Walter Ostreicher. 

Clearly, the John Jay House Band is quickly becoming a staple in our community, and hopefully, it will continue to be one for years to come. “I’m so hyped for the Pep Band to come back,” says the Class of 2023’s Amanda Buchman, who enjoyed the Pep Band’s multiple performances at Girls’ Basketball games last year.