EWU marching band saved from chopping block - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Eastern Washington - Sports

EWU marching band saved from chopping block

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The Eagle Marching band has performed around the Northwest, at half-time shows for the Seattle Seahawks NFL team and for teams in the Canadian Football League.(Photo: EWU) The Eagle Marching band has performed around the Northwest, at half-time shows for the Seattle Seahawks NFL team and for teams in the Canadian Football League.(Photo: EWU)

CHENEY, Wash. - Time marches on and so will the Eastern Washington University marching band, despite news earlier this week that said the program was being cut because of the state's budget woes.

The University said in a news release on Thursday the Eagle marching band would continue to provide halftime entertainment at football games and other events on campus because of changes in enrollment at the school.

"EWU has faced severe budget reductions in the past six months and eliminating the band seemed like one of many budget reduction possibilities," said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs John Mason in the news release. "But recent robust enrollment projections, not available at the time the University's budget reduction plan was adopted, mean the University will have funds to support the marching band. Eastern is determined to not compromise the value students put on their college experience, and every effort is being made to make sure all budget reductions have a minimal impact on our students."

The university is faced with the daunting task of cutting $13.3 million dollars from its budget - an order from the state, which is dealing with a huge budget gap of its own.  Because marching band was not a requirement for music students, cutting the program, which was also losing its director to retirement, was seen as a way to save at least $30,000.

Now that rising enrollment is expected to provide the school with more revenue than it was expecting, the school is currently making plans to hire a new band director and work with the nearly 100 students that make up the Eagle marching band.

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