Let There Be (More) Music: COFAP Adds Band Program

August 14, 2012 / by / 0 Comment

By Doug Carroll

GCU News Bureau

To the long list of things already named Herd at GCU, you can add one that will be Heard.

That would be the new Thundering Heard Pep Band, which could have as many as 80 members under the direction of Paul Koch, the University’s director of bands and an instrumental professor of music.

Adam Benavides, in a scene from "A Midsummer Night's Dream," last season, is one of the top performers in the College of Fine Arts and Production.

Koch (pronounced “Cook”) says his goal is to assemble a high-energy band capable of becoming the “sixth man” at Antelope men’s and women’s basketball games in GCU Arena.

He says the process is kind of like shopping for a good car stereo.

“I’m more concerned with the balance of instruments than pure numbers,” says Koch, who’s no stranger to launching a band. Before coming to GCU, he was director of bands at Perry High School in Chandler since the school’s opening in 2007.“The best sound is going to have a good mix of lows, mids and highs. Good-sounding pep bands are more about balance, blend and intonation, mixed with energy and passion.”

Koch also has a handle on hoops. For five years ending in 2010, he was creative director of the Phoenix Suns’ PHX Percussion. His master’s degree is in percussion performance from Arizona State University, and as an undergraduate he was a part of an award-winning drum line at the University of North Texas.

In other words, there shouldn’t be a problem feeling the beat in the Arena.

“I can appreciate that I’m at the beginning of something huge and special for GCU fans,” Koch says.

The introduction of the instrumental music program is the most significant new development for the College of Fine Arts in 2012-13, a year that will include a reprise of “Handel’s Messiah” (Dec. 7 in the Arena with the Phoenix Symphony) and Ethington Theatre performances of Charles Dickens’ popular “A Christmas Carol” (starting Nov. 23) and Anton Chekhov’s challenging “Cherry Orchard” (Feb. 15).

Here are the highlights:


“Much Ado About Nothing,” Aug. 31-Sept. 2 and Sept. 7-9, Ethington Theatre


“Beauty and the Beast” and “Comedy on the Bridge,” one-act operas, Oct. 12-14 and 19-21, Ethington Theatre

Masterworks choral concert, Oct. 26, First Southern Baptist Church


“A Christmas Carol,” Nov. 23-25 and Nov. 30-Dec. 2, Ethington Theatre


“Handel’s Messiah” featuring the Phoenix Symphony, Dec. 7, GCU Arena

Christmas choral concert, Dec. 11, First Southern Baptist Church

Winter dance concert, Dec. 12 and 13, Ethington Theatre


“Cherry Orchard,” Feb. 15-17 and 22-24, Ethington Theatre

Opera and Broadway choral concert, Feb. 22, First Southern Baptist Church


“H.M.S. Pinafore,” April 12-14 and 19-21, Ethington Theatre

Choral Union concert, Faure’s “Requiem” and Pärt’s “Te Deum,” April 23, First Southern Baptist Church

Spring dance concert, April 26 and 27, Ethington Theatre


Awards and Commencement choral concert, May 1, First Southern Baptist Church


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