Coach Kephart directs his final marching band performance
After 36 years, Geneva College prepares to say goodbye to music department chair and professor Dr. Donald “Coach” Kephart, who will retire at the end of the 2018-19 academic year. The Nov. 10 home football game against Westminster marked Kephart’s last time directing Geneva’s marching band.
Saturday’s game recognized senior football players, cheerleaders and band members, but Kephart proved to be the most important recognized “senior”. He served as the honorary football captain during the pregame coin toss and was joined on the field by President Calvin Troup and Athletic Director Van Zanic during the first and second quarter break to be honored for his years of service. As a gift for his years with Geneva, he was given a framed photo from this season’s record-breaking attendance alumni band performance.
As he completed his last game, Kephart said, “It still hasn’t hit me yet…it’s always about the students, that’s what the job and desire is for every game; every effort is one that is hopefully memorable for them.”
During halftime, the band performed “Los Conquistadores,” “Soak Up the Sun” and “The Chronicles of Narnia.” After closing with the Geneva Fightsong, the band marched off the field for the final time under Kephart’s direction. In keeping with tradition, Kephart pulled the seniors aside for the annual passing out of baseball caps. These caps, stamped with the embroidered words “Geneva College Alumni Band,” are presented to the seniors as they turn in their marching helmets. This tradition began under Kephart’s direction in 1990 and has continued ever since.
This year, the seniors reciprocated by gifting Kephart a graduation cap in exchange for his helmet. Senior flute player Allison Joseph shared, “Now that Coach is leaving college, just like the seniors, he is graduating not retiring.”