Iowa Mennonite pep band raises the standard

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KALONA, Iowa. (KCRG) - At first glance, basketball games at Iowa Mennonite high school seem normal. Players from both teams running the length of the court, the crowd cheering, and a pep band playing. However, it isn't until you take a closer look at the pep band until you find that it is not one you are used to seeing.

"I think if someone was coming here for the first time, they wouldn't expect a rock band." said senior member and dummer Micah Miller.

Instead of traditional trumpets, flutes, and tubas, The Mennonite pep band consists of one drummer, a keyboardist, and three guitar players to make up Iowa's most unique grouping.

"I've heard comments saying like we come to hear the pep band, the game is secondary." said faculty sponsor Lee Ebersole.

Ebersole, as one of two faculty sponsors, plays alongside the band as a guitarist. His daughter Ivana, a freshman, is a keyboardist.

""It's a blast especially to see the students enter into music and just really get into it, its a blast." Ebersole said.

The band plays classic rock & roll which is something you might not expect when going to a Mennonite school.

"One mistake that some people make is that were amish." Miller said.

"A lot of people think were amish." said junior keyboardist Lara Kliewer.

However, that's not the case.

"Some of us aren't even Mennonite but its really cool because were such a tight community even though we come from a whole bunch of different backgrounds." Kliewer said.

Their main job is to create a foot-stomping, energictic environment to pump up the crowd before home games, and they have no issue if they are breaking stereotypes along the way.

"This is kind of different." junior lead guitarist Curran Christophel Knudtson said. "I think IMS is kind of different and we want to embody that."

"I think its refreshing for like them to see IMS for who we rally are and they can be opened up and maybe want to come check us out." said Ivana Ebersole.