This story is part of the series Extraordinary Game Day Experiences. Read more stories here. »
Chandler Marr, sophomore from Clayton, majoring in communication, Caldwell Fellow, mellophonist in the marching band
Nothing, and I mean nothing, beats game day. Running out and performing in front of over 50,000 people will never get old and will be a memory I cherish for the rest of my life.
Growing up, I was always super outgoing and loved talking to people. I’m about as extroverted as they come, and I thrive off forming relationships – which is why I chose to study communication. It’s so interesting to learn the “hows” and “whys” of communication, and NC State University is the perfect place to learn all of that.
I was raised a Wolfpack fan. My family went to almost every football game. I remember sitting on the lawn before Carter-Finley Stadium was a full circle of seats. Raleigh is also such a beautiful city. My background with State, combined with the fact that it’s a highly prestigious school, was the main reason I wanted to come here. Plus, I look really good in red (ha).
I’ve found that extraordinary is in every part of NC State. I love it all. I really enjoy the sense of community that this school brings, because you really do feel like you’re part of a Pack.
That sense of community, for me, really starts with the NC State Marching Band. Dr. Paul Garcia, the marching band and wind ensemble director, has played a key role in making me feel welcome here. He is genuinely one of the most kindhearted men I have met, and I think I can speak for everyone in saying he’s like our “band dad.”
We started officially rehearsing and preparing for the season on Aug. 8 with band camp. That lasted an entire week, most days from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. Since band camp ended, we have practiced every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 3:30 until 5:30 p.m. We rehearse for an hour or two on game days, too. We have something really awesome planned for one of the later shows in the season. I really think the crowd is going to love it!
Lining Up as a Role Model
“There is no better opportunity to develop good life habits and friendships than being a part of a team, especially the Wolfpack.”
The first time I ran on at Carter-Finley was absolutely indescribable. I had so many thoughts going through my head. Just being surrounded by thousands of fans singing along to the pregame show gave me chills. It still does. There’s so much adrenaline pumping through your body, and it’s amazing.
A mellophone looks a lot like a trumpet. It’s slightly shorter but has a bigger bell, which is the part that the sound comes from, and is the marching version of the French horn. (It would be really hard to march a French horn.) The mellophone gives the band a darker, more mellow sound – hence the name.
In addition to band, I really love my communication classes. It’s important to love your major. Those are just a couple of things, though. Like I said, I find everything extraordinary here. I could go on and on about how great this school is.
I applied to the Caldwell Fellows program because I knew it focused on servant leadership and escaping your comfort zone. That immediately appealed to me. I love that I’m part of an organization of students and alumni focused on changing the world and bringing their visions to life. I hope to improve my leadership skills and have experiences that I wouldn’t have had otherwise, such as summer trips around the world. So far, I’ve been more than satisfied. I can’t wait to see where this program takes me.
Right now, I’m on track to graduate a year early. I’m planning to apply for a program that allows me to get a master’s degree in five years, but with my early graduation, it would be four. After I graduate from State I’d really like to get my doctorate in communication studies or social psychology. I’m hoping to do research for a little while and then make my way back to Raleigh to teach.