news-category: Campus News

Gardner-Webb Marching Bulldogs Bring Excitement and Energy to the Field

a photo of some of the band members
The Marching Bulldogs entertained fans during Gardner-Webb night at the American Legion World Series.

Band Adds New Dance Team for 2023

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—The Gardner-Webb Marching Bulldogs begins its second season under the direction of Dr. Sarah Fabian, director of Athletic Bands, with new members and a new addition—a seven-member dance team. The 50 band members also include nine color guard and 34 musicians. They started practicing in early August and are eager to perform for football fans.  

Connor Settlemyre, a junior music education major, doesn’t mind the 12-hour rehearsal days. “Band camp is where we settle the fundamentals and set the foundation of the whole season,” he observed. “The new people coming in from high school learn how we do things, because everybody does it a little different.”  

Hailey Rodden, also a junior music education major, is returning as drum major. She shared that her favorite part of band camp is observing the interactions between members, and seeing the relationships grow with the freshmen.  

The show features hits from Demi Lovato, Lizzo and Taylor Swift. “We are excited to see what the season has in store,” Fabian asserted. “The students have made great progress on the show. The new members have been doing a great job.”  

Settlemyre, a percussionist, started playing in the sixth grade and was a member of his high school marching band. “This upcoming season will be my fourth year playing quads but my fifth year on a drumline,” he stated. “I absolutely love what the marching band does. It takes everyone giving 100% in order for us to put the best show in front of the audience.”  

Fabian noted that new songs will be added to their program throughout the season. “Marching Bulldogs continue to grow and elevate their performances,” she praised. “They strive to bring the light, energy and spirit to all events they attend. We will be traveling to cheer on the football team at the App State (Appalachian State University) game on Sept. 2.”    

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to nine colleges and schools, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at

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