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Former resident leaving his mark on IU music program

Friday, October 16, 2009

(Photo)
The IU Crabb Band, named for Chuck Crabb -- Assistant Athletic Director for Facilities -- is a select athletic band that performs for men's and women's soccer.
A former Brazil resident has carved his name into the musical landmark of Indiana University.

Fifteen years ago, Chuck Crabb, a 1969 graduate of Brazil High School and son of former Brazil Mayor Kenny Crabb, was working with the events and faculty management department at IU as a liaison between athletics and bands.

He said he had contact with various coaches who felt slighted that their sports did not receive the same in-game musical accompaniment other sports were receiving.

After several calls, Crabb was finally able to get the wheels in motion for a performance based ensemble that would attend IU sporting events that normally would go on without any sort of musical accompaniment. The group is known as the "Crabb Band."

Crabb said the name was initially meant as a playful jab at his tireless efforts to secure an ensemble for sports that didn't have one, but says it has grown into a term of affection.

"(Calling it Crabb Band) came about through speech shorthand," Crabb said. "It started out as being sort of tongue-in-cheek, but it has become more genuine over the years."

The primary focus of Crabb Band since its inception has been men and women's soccer. The band plays at all home games, primarily when there is a lull in action when the crowd and players need an emotional pick-me-up.

The band is currently directed by David Woodley, Indiana's Director of Athletic Bands.

It features 20 performers, consisting of three horns, five trumpets, five trombones, one baritone, three sousaphones and three percussionists. Each performer receives $20 per performance.

The audition process for the Crabb Band takes place at the beginning of the fall semester, when prospective members audition in front of graduate students. The selection process is based on playing ability and seniority.

Woodley said the primary difference between Crabb Band and traditional marching band is Crabb Band is solely based on musical performance, as there is no marching involved. He said their performances are very beneficial to both the performers and the players of the athletic squads they are supporting.

"(The band) not only gives support to some of our teams, but it's a great showcase for some of our more musically talented students," Woodley said.

The bands' lively performances have not gone unnoticed by soccer players and supporters. In addition to performing at home matches, the band has also traveled with the team to perform at the College Cup Final, a 48-team tournament to determine the champion of NCAA Division I Soccer.

Crabb said the band has always had a following, but has seen it increase recently.

At a recent dedication for a new on-campus establishment called the North Endzone Student-Athlete Development Center, school Provost Karen Hanson made a mention of the Crabb Band and its contributions to IU athletics. Crabb said since the speech, he has had a noticeable increase in the number of inquiries about the band and what it does.

Woodley said he and his performers all have a great deal of admiration for Crabb and they very much enjoy the opportunity to help expand the vision he had 15 years ago for more widespread athletic support on campus.

"We all have a great deal of respect for (Crabb)," Woodley said, "and we like very much to honor him when we play."

Crabb, who currently serves as the school's Assistant Athletic Director for Facilities, said he considers it a great honor to have his name attached to an organization that is very dedicated to bringing joy to people and to support the athletic department he loves very dearly.

"It's a very humbling experience to have something that shows a great passion for IU athletics named after you," he said. "I have a great passion for my alma mater and I love to see the hard work of people who share that passion with me."



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