Miller and Price will travel to Arlington, Texas, and the Goodyear Cotton Bowl to help “Row the Boat” for the Western Michigan University Broncos in a game against the Wisconsin Badgers.
“It’s so exciting,” said Price. “I can’t believe we are going to play in a huge bowl game like this. It’s something I may never get to do again.”
Miller said he’s looking forward to the whole experience.“It’s been really, really exciting,” he said. “This is so great for the team, for the school and even the community. And now we have the chance to play in a huge bowl game. I can’t wait to be in that stadium.”
Miller said he’s not surprised by the Broncos’ success this year.“I kept saying even at the start of the season that there was a chance. I’ve seen it building the last couple of years,” said Miller, a trumpet player.
WMU students say the excitement around campus has been electrifying and intense.“It’s been nuts,” said Price of the Broncos unprecedented season. “We started out our first game with no one staying for the last half because we got rained out. We played in the stands to band and football parents. Then as we won a few more games, the stadium just kept getting more and more crowded. It is definitely a great year to be a Bronco.”
Although they’ve played in big games before, including the MAC Conference championship game at Ford Field, the Cotton Bowl will most certainly be the biggest with the AT&T stadium holding 100,000 guests and the game nationally televised on ESPN. By comparison, WMU’s Waldo Stadium holds about 30,200 visitors. The game at Ford Field was played with about 45,000 people attending. But the Cotton Bowl is sure to have nearly every seat filled and be watched by millions.
Price said she knew she wanted to pursue band in college.“I wanted to continue being a part of band because I simply could not see my life, at least my foreseeable life, without some type of band or ensemble,” she said.
Miller said he made his decision to attend WMU when he was in about fifth grade.“It was kind of a dream of mine to go to WMU,” Miller said.
He said he got out his fifth-grade time capsule when he graduated last spring and found his goal at that time was to attend WMU and study music education — exactly what he’s doing now.
Price and Miller credit their band teacher Ray Rickert with encouraging them to participate in band at the next level. They said Rickert always told them about the opportunities they could have playing at the collegiate level.
And now they’ll all get to experience a once-in-a-lifetime event. The band will perform in the pre-game show, then share the half-time show with the Wisconsin band. During the game, they'll be an important part of keeping the crowd enthusiastically cheering on the Broncos.