The VCU Pep Band keeps finding ways to one-up itself. This year, the Rams crashed Times Square. As usual, The Peppas drew a big crowd.
March 13, 2015
March 13, 2015
Today’s format was a little different than the last two years, but the Peppas and the VCU spirit squads made what has become an annual appearance on the Today Show this morning. VCU superfan Chris Crowley also got plenty of airtime this morning. Have a look:
Rodney vs. Spidurrr
The Peppas rolling down the street
March 12, 2015
December 13, 2014
November 11, 2014
Did you wake up this morning and wonder what the baddest band in the land, the VCU Peppas, were up to lately? Yeah, me too.
Well, while we’ve been attached to our sofas, watching one of the seven NCIS programs on TV, plowing through bags of Cheetos, The Peppas have been training like Rocky Balboa. Sidebar: I hope they trained with “Hearts on Fire” playing in the background. Anyway, The Peppas will be taking over the Earth soon.
October 30, 2014
The VCU Basketball season hasn’t even started yet, but the school’s pep band, The Peppas, appear to be in midseason form.
Over the years, the band has used any number of tactics to distract opponents and whip VCU fans into a frenzied state, from riding (and playing) around Manhattan on a double-decker bus, to ripping through a non-traditional set list with unusual flair.
On Sunday, Oct. 26 at the annual VCU Basketball Black and Gold Scrimmage, The Peppas raised the bar with a thunderous rendition of a traditional New Zealand Maori haka. As of this writing, a video of the performance had caught the eye of several national media outlets and had been viewed nearly 23,000 times on YouTube. For a photo gallery of the performance, check out VCUSports.com.
The first haka, Ka Mate, Ka Mate, was composed in the late 19th century by Te Rauparaha, a chief of the Ngāti Toa Rangatira tribe. Hakas were originally performed by the Maori people in preparation for a challenge or battle, but in recent years it has been used at welcome celebrations, before athletic contests and a variety of other special events. New Zealand athletic teams popularized the performance of hakas prior to sporting events shortly after its introduction into the culture. New Zealand’s “All Blacks” rugby team has been the most visible of these, and the country’s national basketball team nabbed headlines this past summer for their performance during the FIBA World Championships.
According to VCU Pep Band Director Ryan Kopacsi, The Peppas will be performing a war haka called Peruperu (a dance with weapons), which is marked by fierce facial expressions and percussive movements, and has been used throughout its history to intimidate the opposition. It is considered a bad omen if a haka is not performed in unison.
“I was searching for intense things for us to do a few years ago and I was watching tons of videos. I was writing down ideas. Someone sent me a video of the All Blacks doing it. I was floored and couldn’t stop watching video after video. From there it was all about right place right time. The right place is here and the right time is now,” Kopacsi said earlier this week via email.
Also, according to the Haka Ka Mate Attribution Bill, passed the New Zealand’s Parliament in 2014, Kopacsi asked to include the following statement:
In case you missed it, or if you just wanted to watch again, here’s Sunday’s performance:
October 26, 2014
H/T to John Tatum.
The Peppas are already on their game. At Sunday’s Black and Gold Scrimmage, they broke out the New Zealand Haka dance. I’m sure other videos will emerge later in the year, but this can be your first look.
March 21, 2014
I’m not going to lie, I enjoy that The Peppas just cruise around town in their Partridge Family bus, looking to get a game, seeking about bands to battle. Who wants to barnstorm across America with me, Rodney and The Peppas?
March 14, 2014
We met The Peppas Friday morning and hopped on an open-air tour bus. The band crossed the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan and made its way onto the “Today Show” for the second straight year. Afterwards, we headed to Times Square, where we played outside the “Good Morning America” studio, then through the streets, and onto Madison Square Garden, where some other tournament is going on right now. Finally, we swung over to the iconic New York Public Library, where the band played about six songs and attracted a crowd of a couple hundred before we were shut down by library staffers we can only assume attended Richmond. Here’s a recap:
March 14, 2014
We rode around all Friday morning with The Peppas. We’ll have our own video from the trip, which included stops all over Manhattan, up later, but here’s the clip of the band crashing the Today Show for the second straight year.
EDIT: I pulled a bunch of photos from my iPhone and from around the Internet to give you a look at some of the scenes from Friday’s ridealong.