BV “Blue Steel” Breathes Life into Game Day Atmospheres 

Tanner Frost, Sports Editor

If you’ve been around J Leslie Rollins Stadium during football season or made your way to a Buena Vista Beaver Basketball game in Siebens Fieldhouse this Winter, you may have heard some foreign noises.

The pounding of drums. The blare of a tuba. The shaking of tambourines. All of these instruments and more have composed the new BV “Blue Steel” Pep Band for the first time in 20 years. 

New Buena Vista Director of Athletic Bands Tiffany Wurth was named to the role before the 2018-19 school year began. Since then, she’s looked to breathe life into the game day atmospheres of home Beaver athletic events. 

“President Merchant, Provost Brian Lenzmeier, and the Board of Directors have entrusted an entire program to me and I have never been so thankful for something in my life,” says Wurth. “Bringing a program like this back to life is a game changer for the university, the community, and the entire state of Iowa. Leading the band program here on campus is a privilege and an honor.” 

In its debut year, the bands’ instruments were manned by over 30 different Buena Vista students and even a pair of BV professors: Ben Maas and Daniel Strohmyer. Those numbers are looking to grow significantly next year. 

“The school year was used for laying the foundation of the marching program and for recruitment of the band. We also started the BVU Blue Steel Pep Band this year. The goal was to create a marching band and pep band program and to renew a sense of pride and spirit within the University,” explains Wurth. 

Wurth is no stranger to the world of music, having over 10 years of music education experience already. She joined BV from her role as the junior high/high school jazz and marching band director for the Kingsley Pierson Community School District. 

She also has previous experience as a vocal music instructor and instrumental music instructor. To cap off her experience, Wurth is involved with the Iowa Bandmasters Association as both the treasurer and a member of the Board of Directors. 

Needless to say, Wurth is more than qualified for the job. Now she’s planning big things for the future of the Buena Vista bands.

“Great performances, community interaction and big numbers,” Wurth says. “We want to bring the amazing world of music to our school and the community in any way that we can. We will continue to make a great name for the BVU Music department as we go forward.” 

Though the band performed just once for the Beaver Football team this past fall, Head Coach Grant Mollring was pleased with their addition to the atmosphere and looks forward to having the marching band next season. 

“I think without a doubt the addition of the Athletic Bands program will enhance our game day atmosphere. The debut of the pep band for one of our home games last year was awesome,” says Mollring. “It provided a traditional small college feel to our games and it can be a reason we set ourselves apart from other ARC schools in providing that traditional college football Saturday experience.”

The BV Blue Steel also brought noise to Siebens Fieldhouse, impressing Head Women’s Basketball Coach Dana Christen. 

“They created a great environment and helped make everyone get pumped up. The band plays great songs that help do that as well,” says Christen. 

Not only do the bands provide excellent atmosphere to BVU’s athletic events, but they’ve also made it a goal to collaborate with area high schools. The Blue Steel has traveled all across Iowa to play with high school bands and each teach them a thing or two. All for the good of the community.

Director Wurth and the bands are also looking forward to the Drum Corp. International visiting BVU this summer on Jul. 29. Tickets are available online. 

The Blue Steel had a busy first year, and they’ve taken home many memories in the process.

“While out on a pep band tour, one of the greatest memories was seeing our students sitting down and helping the high school students with homework. We then picked up our horns and played alongside them,” says Wurth. She further added, “Also Ben and Dan getting pulled over in the school vehicle for a headlight that was out after a tour event.” 

While she hasn’t held the position for very longWurth has already found a home in Buena Vista.  

“Representing BVU in everything that I do has been nothing short of an amazing ride,” says Wurth. “I have been blessed in so many ways by coming to BV.”

If you’re interested in following the development of the Blue Steel and BVU’s new marching bands, you can follow them on Twitter at @BVU_MB.