UTA basketball is headed to the 2018 Sun Belt Championship with momentum, and the band

Nick Thomas Trumpet Sophomore Music Education
Nick Thomas, UTA sophomore/ music education major helps put the “brass” in the UTA MavBrass Basketball Pep Band.

The MavBrass Basketball Pep Band will travel to the 2018 Sun Belt Basketball Championship at Lakefront Arena in New Orleans to support the UTA men and women’s basketball teams as they battle for conference titles and a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament. Though the MavBrass band performs at every home game, this will be the first time they are able to travel with the teams this season. Travel to this year’s Sun Belt Championship was made possible through funding provided by the College of Liberal Arts, Office of the Dean.

Mike Nguyen Conductor Basketball Pep Band (3)
Mike Nguyen Conductor Basketball Pep Band leads the group during rehearsal for the last 2017-2018 men’s basketball home game at College Park Center.

“Their presence brings an extra level of energy to each game,” said Mike Nguyen, Adjunct Saxophone Professor in the Department of Music and Conductor of the MavBrass Basketball Pep Band.  “We go to every game to create a great experience, for both the players and audience, through super loud cheering, hilarious skits and some killer music. Basically, we bring the fun – whether at home or on the road.”

This is Nguyen’s second year as the conductor for the ensemble and sixth overall.  The UTA Alumnus played saxophone all four years as an undergraduate while pursuing a degree in music performance.  Nguyen also earned a Masters in Music Performance from UTA in 2017.  Nguyen added, “We come to support the UTA women and men’s basketball teams, but there is also a level of competition for us with the other bands in the Sun Belt. After all, the best basketball team in the tournament has to have the best band!”

Scott Cross, head coach for the UTA men’s basketball team agrees and said his players love the band because they are high-spirited and energize the crowd and players.  Cross explained, “When the band is able to travel, it gives you the feeling that you have more support in your corner.  We have a great band, better than the rest of the league. Our band can be like a sixth man on the court.”

Ending the regular season with a road win at in-state rival Texas State last weekend provided the UTA men’s team a number four seed at the championships. The UTA women’s team is a number three seed and will compete against the winner of game three on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.  The men play either Appalachian State or Little Rock on Friday.

Elisabeth Cawthon, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts said, “It is great to see the men and women’s teams headed to the Sun Belt with such great momentum, along with some their liveliest supporters: our phenomenal pep band.”

IMG_4409 copy
Pictured from left to right: (Bottom Row) Pep Band Conductor Mike Nguyen, Aubrey Worley, Caitlin Hall, Shannon Lotti, Edwin Nanez, Roberto Villareal (Row 2) Nick Thomas, Adam Thomas, Hunter Bailey, Cody Wright, Ian Raybon, Schuyler Groff, Arjun Jeetan (Top Row) Dylan Zupkie, John McWilliams, Frankie Rodriguez, Taylor Bass, Andrew Yates, David Plumlee, Luis Moreno

We hope that many other Maverick and Lady Maverick fans will travel to Louisiana as well in a show of support of these fine athletes.  For the complete Sun Belt Championship women and men’s schedule, view their website.


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