A USC Trojan mascot in roman battle gear costume with helmet and plume raises his arm to give a V for victory gesture.
A USC Trojan. Photo from Pixabay.

Student members and supporters of the USC Trojan Marching Band will gather Sunday afternoon to mark the opening of a 7,000-square-foot facility that includes rehearsal areas, locker rooms and instrument and uniform storage, marking the first time in its 138-year history that the band has its own dedicated space on the University Park campus.

USC President C.L. Max Nikias is scheduled to the reveal donor and building name at a 2 p.m. ceremony at the facility, which was constructed on the second floor of the existing General William Lyon University Center. The band, of course, will serenade attendees.

Up until now, band members had to change inside a cramped administrative office at Stonier Hall and practice wherever there was available space on campus. Two band members, Corey Dennis and Emily Moneymaker, told Nikias about the challenging conditions at a student meet-and-greet in fall 2016, and he pledged to find a new venue for the fabled program, according to the university.

Earlier this spring, after nine months of renovation, the space opened to students.

“This is a dream come true,” said Art Bartner, who is scheduled to retire in 2020 after 50 years as the band’s director.

“I’ve been trying to find a dedicated space for our students since I came to USC,” he said in a statement released by the university. “I’d like to thank President Nikias for making this happen and the two students that called attention to the needs of this band program. I’m so happy that this can happen before I leave USC.”

The opening of the pavilion comes in the midst of a $20 million fundraising initiative that, in addition to improving the band’s facilities, aims to secure the future of the organization beyond Bartner’s retirement by endowing scholarships for every band member, supporting its football trips, and helping renew and upgrade its inventory of instruments and uniforms every eight to 10 years.

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