Video: Deaf student helps power Big Red Marching Machine
Written by: Ryan Denham // November 16, 2012 // Comments Off
When the Big Red Marching Machine takes the field at Hancock Stadium on Saturday for the last regular-season football game of the year, there will be 275 color guard members, dancers and musicians in its ranks – including a trombone player named Mark Reppen.
Reppen, a deaf sophomore from Alsip, has been playing trombone since the fifth grade. He’s aided by a cochlear implant and hearing aid, and by Big Red’s leadership, his band mates, and sign language interpreters provided by Illinois State’s Disability Concerns office.
But Reppen’s talent is his own, something he hones just like any musician – through years of practice, at least three weekly BRMM rehearsals, feedback from his band director, his fellow trombone players, and his tuner.
VIDEO: The sophomore criminal justice major shared more of his story – and how he chose Illinois State – after a recent Big Red Marching Machine practice: