Busy students provide pep music at games


A lot goes into a basketball game aside from the contest.

There are cheerleaders, dancers and, of course, a pep band.

The pep band is a big part of having an advantage at home games because of the support and energy the musicians bring to every game.

The band director at University of Detroit Mercy is Dean Haddad, who has held the position since 2010.

He recently answered a few questions for The Varsity News.


What kind of background do you have?

I was born and still live in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. I’ve been teaching for 22 years in the Windsor Catholic School System and am currently a seventh grade teacher at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School in South Windsor. I studied Jazz Studies at Wayne State University and I play saxophone in several bands around town. I’ve coached basketball at our school for years and have had some great teams. Coaching basketball is how I got involved with UDM in the first place. We used to take our teams to the Palace and play on the Pistons court before games. It became quite costly for our teams to travel to the Palace and pay for the tickets. I was looking for another place that we could organize prelim games. I was a fan of the Titans and I contacted UDM and we started running prelim games before the Titans games. So I’ve been around UDM basketball for a lot of years even before I starting working here.

Do you have any big plans for the band this year?

This is probably the best band we have had in the years I’ve been here: lots of new members that are very talented on their instruments and a lot of great musicians returning. I’m hoping that we will have a full band of 25 at all the men’s and women’s games this year and hopefully be cheering on a lot of Titan victories. Go, Titans!

What’s your favorite instrument to play?

I play soprano, alto and tenor saxophones. My first love is the alto saxophone.

How much has the band changed since you started working here?

One of the big struggles with the pep band when I first got here, was attendance. Getting all of the members out to all the games was quite difficult. Not having a music program to draw from at the school might have something to do with it. The members that we have every year are very busy students that have a lot of other commitments. I’m very proud of the fact that even though these students are very busy with school and work – they are dedicated to their basketball teams and are excited to be a part of Titan Athletics. We’ve got a great group of musicians and students.