The Super Bowl is arguably the world’s biggest stage – and this year two Dolphins appeared on it.
Le Moyne sophomore Vivian Phan and senior Cory Mihalek were on the field as members of the Syracuse University marching band, performing as part of the pre-game festivities at Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday, Feb. 2 at Met Life Stadium in New Jersey. They took the field at 6 p.m., roughly 40 minutes before kickoff.
It’s just the latest adventure they’ve had with the band, following up on previous gigs at the New Era Pinstripe Bowl (in Yankee Stadium), Canadian Football Leagues games in Hamilton and Montreal, a Buffalo Bills game, and last month’s visit to Houston to perform at the Texas Bowl.
But this is the Super Bowl, which last year was watched by an estimated 108 million people in the U.S. and millions more around the globe. Their reaction when they learned the band would be playing at the big game?
“When we first found out, I was in complete and utter shock,” said Mihalek, a sociology major with a concentration in childhood/special education. “It truly is just awesome, and it still really hasn't sunk in that I will be traveling to New Jersey on Sunday to perform at the Super Bowl. I don't think it will set in until I physically march out onto that field and perform the show.”
Mihalek has played trombone in the band for four years, and Phan played piccolo in the band this past fall. Both were heavily involved with their respective high school marching bands and wanted to continue that experience in college. In addition to SU students and the two from Le Moyne, the band also has members from SUNY ESF.
Phan, a double major in psychology and biology, credits her experience with music in helping her make the transition to college life. “After joining the Le Moyne College Chamber Orchestra, I was able to find my comfort zone and adjust to college accordingly… I was able to start working with some of the greatest instructors as well as improve in playing the flute.”
They both have enjoyed their experience with the marching band and the satisfaction they get from music in general. “Music helps me to really forget about everything for a few hours a day; it helps me to relax,” said Mihalek. “Before rehearsal or a performance, I am usually stressed out thinking about homework, papers, and projects that are due. Once I get to rehearsal or a performance, however, those things are put into the back of my mind and I just focus on making music for others to enjoy for the few hours.”