I write to you today about the article that appeared on Nov. 17 about Professor Kevin Kastens’ retirement from the Hawkeye Marching Band. The characterization that he “upheld traditions and entertained thousands” was a very accurate way to describe his years at the University of Iowa.
In 2016, the Marching Band visited Minneapolis. I was in the stands with Gopher fans. The comments from the Gopher fans were very positive about the Marching Band and the show the members delivered that day. I witnessed that day how traditions were being upheld by the staff of the band.
The past director of the Marching Band, Morgan Jones, would always reference to the future band directors in the band, “Get music and show my friend in the stands Joe ‘Hawk’ how to jump and cheer.” With the choice of music that Kastens selected, he did that for both Pep Band and Marching Band.
As the Marching Band gathered on Nov. 28 to turn in uniforms for dry cleaning and receive their bowl-game instructions on practices, I could still recall how Kastens’ first year went with the band. I can recall the suggestions made in the room of future shows the band could perform on the field. I wonder if any of those suggestions made it to the drawing board in future years.
The UI School of Music has graduated great teachers who are around the country currently. Kastens’ influence is widely known in the Marching Band community. Thank you, Professor Kastens, for your dedication to music and the teaching of music.
On Iowa & Go Hawks.
— Dan “The Keymaster” Steinberg
Marching Band Tenor Sax 1996-1999
UI B.A. ’99 Geography