Nov 10, 2021

rocky with instrument

Franklin Pierce University, through a collaboration between the Music Department and University Athletics, has created the Raven Marching Band. George Robinson, current director of the University’s Pep Band, will lead the Marching Band with his promotion to the newly created position of Director of Athletic Bands.

“The Raven Marching Band is an exciting collaboration between the music department and athletics that will attract talented student musicians to Franklin Pierce,” said Dr. Catherine Paden, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Through this partnership, the academic programs at Franklin Pierce continue to embrace innovation as central to how they are developed and how educational experiences are delivered to students.”

The Raven Marching Band is the brainchild of professor of music Lou Bunk, Ph.D. and director of athletics Rachel Burleson, M.B.A. Dr. Bunk, as the faculty athletic representative to University Athletics, and Burleson worked together to develop the concept of the band to better tie academic offerings to athletics outside of competition. This effort is one of a series of initiatives that encompass a holistic re-envisioning of academics in alignment with the University’s Strategic Plan, Pierce@60.

“Students in the Marching Band will have an active role in the music department, joining our music ensembles, taking our music classes, and pursuing our music degrees,” said Dr. Bunk. “I have seen firsthand how playing music together creates a connection for students, a feeling of camaraderie with each other, and a more meaningful bond with Franklin Pierce.”

The Raven Marching Band builds on the success of the University’s Pep Band. Since its start in 2019, the Pep Band has become an integral part of Raven Nation’s game day festivities. Through its two-plus years of existence, the Pep Band has energized and added enthusiasm to the game day experience on Campus, as well as provided entertainment to fans, students, and student-athletes alike. The Raven Marching Band will provide even more opportunities for students to participate in and contribute to the Franklin Pierce community. They are expected to perform starting in the fall of 2022.  

“The Raven Marching Band will provide Franklin Pierce students with the opportunity to bolster their instrumental skills while supporting the Ravens’ intercollegiate athletic teams,” said Burleson. “The work our Pep Band has done to enhance our game day experience has been phenomenal, and adding a marching band will allow even more students to engage with the traditions we’re building in Raven Nation.”

The Raven Marching Band will become one of the only collegiate marching band programs in New Hampshire, as well as just the second within the Northeast-10 Conference. The Marching Band will perform at all football home games, as well as at additional events, both on campus and in the local community. The Pep Band will continue to perform in more intimate settings, such as home basketball games in the Fieldhouse. 

“I want to thank Franklin Pierce University and the athletic department for the opportunity to lead the Raven Marching Band,” said Robinson. “I am looking forward to creating an inclusive environment for students of all backgrounds and levels of musical ability, regardless of major, minor, or previous experience.”

To learn more about the Raven Marching Band, visit

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