Anyone who has ever been to a Fordham basketball or football game is aware of the fact that hosting a sporting event is a complicated and multi-layered process. The players, who practice relentlessly during the season, must be outfitted with the proper uniforms. The cheerleaders need to be ready to pump up the crowd. The facilities must be clean and ready to accommodate thousands of supporters. Crucially, all of these facets of the game must be carried out just right, with the right leader at the helm and with the right level of expertise.
Brian Reynolds, FCRH ’17, is one of those leaders who helps game day unfold without incident. As student director of the Fordham pep band, helping to support the school’s athletic programs is just as important as making melodies.
“It’s great,” said Brian. “Everyone in the pep band, we get really involved with the teams…The women’s basketball team and the pep band, in particular, have a great relationship. We love supporting each other.”
Given the women’s team’s 11-5 record at home from last season, it seems that Brian, a music and economics double major from East Northport, N.Y., and the approximately 30 student-musicians that he directs are accomplishing their chief goal — that is, contributing to the pro-Fordham atmosphere designed to give the Rams an advantage at home.
The band is also an integral part of the Fordham following on the road, accompanying the football and basketball teams on vital away games and even supporting them in tournaments like the WNIT in 2015 and the Women’s NCAA Tournament in 2014. However, Brian does not work as hard as he does just because he is a Fordham fanatic — he does so because he is also a skilled musician.
A percussionist, Brian started on the drums at the age of 10 and has not stopped yet. Being selected for his high school’s symphonic winds ensemble as a freshman afforded him an excellent opportunity to hone his craft, and he now serves as president of the Fordham University band and orchestra on top of his duties as pep band director.
When asked about his favorite piece for band or orchestra, Brian hemmed and hawed for a while before finally settling on a response. “You always want to play 1812,” he answered, referring to Tchaikovsky’s famous overture. “That’s just going middle-of-the-road. A real classic.”
Additionally, Brian is a trained rock drummer, citing Neil Peart of Rush and Phil Collins of Genesis as his chief influences.
Of course, it is not just non-stop music for Brian. Ever the workhorse, he can often be found working his weekly shifts as a driver and dispatcher for the Department of Transportation’s intercampus shuttle service, better known as the Ram Van.
Reynolds relishes this role, saying that while he enjoys the tasks and the compensation, it is the camaraderie between him and his co-workers that makes the job such an ideal fit.
“Work is defined by who you get to go see,” Brian said. “It’s such a fun and dynamic crowd of people that work at Ram Van.
I actually find myself excited to go to work sometimes, just because I get to see, y’know, some of my best friends.”
Although Brian has no idea what life after college will have in store, he does have an idea of where it might take him or, perhaps more accurately, not take him.
“I’d love to spend more time in New York,” he said. “It’s where I’m from, where I grew up. I’d like to spend some more time in the city.”
For now, Reynolds still has approximately half of his college career in ahead of him. You can bet that much of what remaining will be spent making music and entertaining his fellow Rams.