2016 Season Preview: LSU Tiger Band

Interview with the LSU Band Directors

August 17, 2016
Blue Line Media ImageWe continue our 2016 season previews as we stop in Louisiana and visit the Golden Band from Tiger Land!

There's probably not another band in the nation looking forward to performing together more than the LSU Tiger Band. The off season was filled with major headlines including the firing of long time Director Roy King. LSU as a university enacted a policy banning opposing bands from performing at LSU football games. With our help and pressure from fans and alumni, the band was able to push back on the Athletics Department and have that policy reversed.

Now that things have quieted down, they can focus on band camp and this season.
We spoke with Director of Bands, Damon Talley, Associate Director of Bands, Dennis Llinas and Assistant Director of Bands, Kelvin Jones, to hear about what the 2016 season has in store for Tiger band fans.

How many years is this now for you at LSU? What are you looking forward to the most this season?
Talley - 3rd year
Llinas - 5th year
Jones - 6th year total, first on faculty

When does band camp start and what is your favorite part of camp each year?
Section leaders returned Aug 10, drumline and auxiliary units Aug 12, Freshman Aug 14, returners came back yesterday, August 16th.

Where will the full band be traveling this year? Any other special performances? What can we expect at halftime this fall?
Jones - The full band will hopefully be traveling to the SEC Championship game and a post season bowl game. We will be flying 112 members of the band up to Lambeau field for the first game, which we’re very excited about. We are also hosting our annual Tigerama event in October.

Llinas - As far as halftime shows, you will see everything from pictures in the drill, Louisiana inspired music, and even integration of the video board!  Lots of exciting things to come.
If there was one other band in the country that you'd love to host at LSU who would it be and why? Who will you host this year?
Talley - It’s a real treat for us to host any band, to be honest. We love for our students to have the chance to see other college bands in action, and our fans always enjoy different bands as well. There is no one particular band. This year we are very happy to host several visiting bands, including Jacksonville State and South Alabama, with others still possible.

What does it mean to you to come to work every day in this role? What do you hope the students take away from their time in band?
Talley - It is a huge honor and responsibility, and I am beyond grateful to serve this program every day. We have absolutely amazing students, and it is their energy and passion that continue to inspire all of us every day.

Llinas - It is what I am most passionate about outside of my family.  The students are an extended family for me and I would not trade my daily interactions with them for anything.  I hope that they learn life skills in band that they could apply to any profession that they choose to pursue.  We want to teach students to be dedicated, intelligent, respectful, and trustworthy people so that when they enter another profession, they could say the band helped them become better people.

Jones -  It’s great, and the students are a major reason that I took this job. I hope they gain a sense of pride and accomplishment for all they have done to push the program forward. 

Give us two fun facts that students/fans don't know about you
Talley - I love to cook and I play golf very badly, but for some reason enjoy doing it.

Llinas - I am an adrenaline junkie and have a huge soft spot for dogs.

Jones - I graduated high school in Hawaii. Next to LSU sports, I am an avid Who Dat, New Orleans Saints fan