As you walk through the front entryway of the brand new K-State Tracz Family Band
Hall, you’ll immediately get a feel for what sort of place this is and just how much
it’s going to mean to the students who will soon occupy it.
To the left, you’ll find a special dedication sign, explaining the history of the band and thanking the many K-Staters who helped make this new facility happen.
To your right, you’ll spot a giant display case of band memorabilia throughout the decades, including the famous Sudler Trophy.
Peek beyond that display, and you’ll spy shiny tubas hanging from giant columns in Wabash Hall.
And those are just a few features from this facility that the K-State Marching Band is eager to call home.
“We’re ready,” says Frank Tracz, professor of music and director of bands at K-State. “It’s a pretty amazing place. It’s beyond description.”
The new Band Hall joins what Tracz calls a hub of student activity, located within World War I Memorial Stadium and situated close to the Berney Family Welcome Center and the K-State Alumni Center.
The full band anticipates using the building in mid-August, although smaller groups such as the Classy Cats and section leaders have already been meeting in the space.
Tracz anticipates some tweaks and additions will continue to be made as the band adjusts to the new building — all an expected part of the construction process.
For Tracz, it almost feels like starting over. He’s having to rethink and redesign years of band processes and protocols. But it also feels right.
“It’s good, it’s refreshing,” he said. “It’s time to move forward.”
He said the students who’ve visited the facility already love it. They now have easy
access to amenities such as bathrooms, an ice maker and a water bottle refiller, a
kitchen area, and a dedicated repair room. And the students will definitely appreciate
not having to make the long, hot trek carrying their instruments and gear from McCain
Auditorium to the Memorial Stadium practice field during summer rehearsals.
“It’s all right here,” Tracz said. “They’re just going to be blown away by this. It’s absolutely fantastic.”
He said his favorite spot in the building is the rehearsal hall, with upgrades that will make students’ practice sessions even more impactful, such as large TV screens, speakers, recording equipment and mirrors.
He’s excited because this facility will also serve as a powerful recruitment tool; he’s been contacted by band directors from across the state wanting to take a tour.
Donors have had the opportunity to tour the facility as well, and Tracz credits this building as a community effort.
“Without them, this doesn’t happen,” he said.
Although right now in early August, the facility remains quiet, soon it will be bustling with activity: a space just for K-State Marching Band members, for many years to come.
“It’s everybody’s home. They’ll hang out here,” Tracz said. “You can come here and belong.”
Read more about the Tracz Family Band Hall in the upcoming fall 2023 issue of our member-exclusive K-Stater magazine!