New Owls supporters add pep to William Woods games

The Parliament Pep Band performs during a William Woods University basketball game. Faculty member Murphy Tetley — who also wrote the school’s fight song — formed the group to help boost school spirit at games.

The Parliament Pep Band performs during a William Woods University basketball game. Faculty member Murphy Tetley — who also wrote the school’s fight song — formed the group to help boost school spirit at games.

For several years, when the William Woods University men’s and women’s basketball teams took to the floor, it was to the tune of a recording of the school fight song being played by the Central Methodist University band.

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Contributed photo

Trombone player Fern Stevermer practices with William Woods University’s Parliamentary Pep Band. A Fulton High School student and active member of the band program there, Stevermer said one of her favorite parts of getting involved with the William Woods group has been getting to know her bandmates.

Thanks to the efforts of a William Woods faculty member and a group of local musicians, the Owls now are introduced with a live band blaring out “Our Owls win the Woods Way.”

Murphy Tetley, instructor of management information systems, said he organized the Parliament Pep Band to play at home basketball games because it seemed like the next logical step after having written the William Woods fight song in 2009.

“I thought we ought to try to get our own band to play the song,” Tetley said.

To that end, he advertised in The Fulton Sun and put up notices around campus asking for area residents interested in helping to liven up school basketball games. Tetley ended up with 12 musicians — including four local high school students and several community members — playing a range of instruments that includes a trombone, several piccolos and flutes, multiple trumpets, a saxophone and drums.

“It’s been better than I expected. It actually sounds pretty decent — the high school kids are just really good players — and we’re having a blast,” Tetley said. “The teams are pretty responsive, and the crowds have been pretty responsive.”

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