Student musician organizing fundraiser for Pep Band

Student Spotlight
Gabrielle Potts, fourth-year industrial design




Follow Matt Gregory on Twitter
Follow RITNEWS on Twitter

201302/pottsgabrielle.jpg

Industrial design student Gabrielle Potts plays the tenor saxophone and is president of the RIT Pep Band.

Gabrielle Potts is a fourth-year industrial design student minoring in mechanical engineering and she is president of the RIT Pep Band. She is involved in many intramural sports and was a founding member of the Argentine Tango Club, however, her true passion is for the Pep Band, where she plays tenor saxophone. Potts is helping to organize an autographed hockey jersey raffle to raise money to support the band. Tickets will be sold at upcoming men’s and women’s hockey games and at the SAU from noon to 2 p.m. on Feb. 20 and 21. Tickets will cost $1 for three, or $5 for 20. A complete schedule of ticket sales times and locations can be found on the RIT Events Calendar.

Question: Where are you from?
Answer: I am from Danville, Vt.

Q: What brought you to RIT?
A: I came to RIT to be a mechanical engineer. When looking at colleges, I wanted a large school without the overwhelming volume of a large school. RIT is a large, beautiful campus, closely located to everything without being right in a city; it offers the isolation and comfort of a small campus with the perks of a large campus. I also wanted to continue music and dance along with my academics. RIT offers a huge list of clubs and organizations and events to keep you busy doing whatever you love or want to try.

Q: How did you get involved with the Pep Band, and what is your role?
A: I got involved in Pep Band as a freshman. I went to the Club Fair and saw a sousaphone at the table. I knew I wanted to continue music, so I signed up. That year was the year the men’s hockey team went to the Frozen Four, so being in the Pep Band was a big deal and I became very involved. The next year, I ran for the position of section leader. I play the tenor saxophone, and it was my job to organize the saxophones, a section of 32 people. The following year, I ran for president of the organization and for the last two years I have been the president, as well as a member of the saxophone section.

Q: What would you like to tell the RIT community about the Pep Band?
A: This is the Pep Band’s seventh year of existence. It is a completely student run organization. The executive board and conductor are all current undergraduate students. The band used to be about 15 people who tried their best not to get booed by the Corner Crew at games, but now we have over 120 people and fill the stands at both men’s and women’s hockey games. Our music library has grown to over 80 songs and some of it is student arranged. We rehearse once a week and play at every event we possibly can outside of hockey, including open houses, Spring Fest, Imagine RIT and other big campus events.

Q: What is the Autographed Jersey Raffle?
A: The Autographed Jersey Raffle is a fundraiser that we hold every year. We are raffling off one signed women’s hockey jersey and one signed men’s hockey jersey. The funds help us repair and purchase instruments and equipment and, when given a chance, to travel to away games.

Q: What has been your favorite memory of RIT so far?
A: It was watching the clock count down last year at the Women’s National Championship hockey game. I remember the clock counting down, and the whole arena went silent, and then it hit zero and the arena wasn’t silent anymore, but full of sound. There were hugs and everyone was jumping up and down and celebrating being national champions. It was unreal.

Q: What advice do you have for other RIT students?
A: The advice that I give everyone is: don’t just do academics here. There are tons of events, people and clubs, so get out of your room and do something and meet people. The memories you make are the ones that you will remember and the people here are amazing. Whether it is joining the Quidditch Club, Roller Hockey Club, Ukulele Club or the Pep Band, there is something for everyone. So step out and become part of RIT.

Q: What are your plans for after graduation?
A: I plan on graduating next year with a BFA in industrial design. I am hoping to work in design management or design engineering, working closely with engineers to create universal products.

Note: The Pep Band is one of the numerous talented performing arts groups at RIT. To read more about the various groups, go to www.rit.edu/news/athenaeum. To watch videos of RIT’s performing arts groups, go to www.youtube.com/RITUniversityNews and search for “performing arts.”

Matt Gregory compiles “Student Spotlights” for University News. Contact him at msg2110@rit.edu with suggestions.

201302/pottsgabrielle.jpg

Industrial design student Gabrielle Potts plays the tenor saxophone and is president of the RIT Pep Band.