Getting Down to Business with the Band - Marching In-step with Hunter Rencher

Posted on June 14, 2022 by MCOB

Hunter Rencher data-lightbox='featured'

Sophomore accounting major Hunter Rencher’s love for music and marching band started from an early age. When introduced to the band in sixth grade, he quickly was drawn in by the inclusive atmosphere and began playing the trumpet. In high school, he noticed the color guard spinning rifles. “I saw specific people on the weapons line and how cool they were, and I knew from that moment I was going to be a part of that,” he said.

Rencher continued to play trumpet while practicing his color guard skills. He also took on a leadership position as drum major of the Fairhope High School Buccaneer Band during his junior and senior years.

“I wanted to be a drum major. I wanted to conduct. I had always had a burning passion for that too,” he said “So, I would do marching season in the fall as drum major and then for indoor season, during the spring, I would do Winter Guard on the weapons line.”

After high school, Rencher was considering which university to attend. He was leaning in another direction when he heard about the Mitchell College of Business from a friend.

“I instantly wanted to know more,” he said. “I was heavily persuaded by all of the scholarship opportunities and the different concentrations that the Mitchell College of Business had to offer. It took one visit, and I told my parents ‘I'm going across the bridge.’” The University of South Alabama became his home not-so-far-away-from home. During his freshman year at South, he joined the Jaguar Marching Band, auditioned for the color guard and made the weapons line. He says joining the band gave him an, “Immediate family on campus, and I didn’t feel so lonely, right off the bat, starting college.”

At the Mitchell College of Business, Rencher landed on accounting as his major. He knew he wanted to be challenged and in a career that would be in demand. Then he took an Accounting 211 course taught by Ellen Madden, senior instructor.

“I watched and listened to her talk about the accounting field, and I saw how her eyes lit up with excitement as she got to share her passion for accounting with us,” Rencher said. “Even as early as an 8 a.m. class, professor Madden always kept class lively with intriguing back stories she’s experienced from working in the accounting field. I knew then accounting was for me.”

While transitioning from remote learning back to traditional in-person classes, another faculty member, Dr. Alan Chow, associate professor of marketing and quantitative methods, helped ease the way.

“He's talked to me extensively about a lot of opportunities,” Rencher said “He's helping me network through MCOB, and honestly, it's helping me get more comfortable walking around, feeling like I can go talk to new people and not feel like I just have to go to class and rush out.”

Balancing color guard, work and class can be challenging. So can being a man on the team.  “When I was in high school, peers really got into my head. I definitely have to deal with the fact that people assume I get all the solos because I'm a guy and because everybody wants to showcase the ‘guy in guard’” Rencher said. “There's really no room for error because I will definitely get a lot more criticism.” 

“I go above and beyond because I want them to know I'm in this activity, and I'm excelling well in this activity. If a guy wants to join the guard he can do it and he can do it passionately and perform just as well as anybody else.”

This year marks the first normal marching season for the Jaguar Marching Band in two years, and it’s the first year Hancock Whitney Stadium opened without attendance limits. “The time commitment is definitely hard, but it all pays off when I get out there we’re performing, we look across the field, we're smiling at each other, we look up to the crowds and they're cheering us on,” he said. “It's a feeling of inclusiveness. It's just perfect.”

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