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Stony Brook Students March to the Beat of a Different “Drum”

After 27 years, our alma mater has been given a contemporary makeover thanks to a couple of Stony Brook Marching Band freshmen. During band camp this summer, each instrument section performs a skit during roll call, the traditional end of band camp celebration. The flute section decided to modernize “Sandy Shores,” the Stony Brook alma mater co-written in 1986 by Stony Brook music professor Peter Winkler and lyricist Winston Clark.

"Sandy Shores" - The beatbox version

Stony Brook Marching Band member Anwen (Winnie) Lewis, co-creator of a video featuring the updated version, thought it would be a creative way to help band students memorize and perform the alma mater—an expectation of all band members.

Originally Lewis and band mate Pamela Stevens contemplated turning it into a rap song. “We quickly discovered that our rapping skills were not as good as we thought,” said Lewis. “Instead we took Pam’s singing skills and my flute beat boxing skills and turned it into a more of a pop song.” Beat boxing imitates the sounds of a drum with the human voice or musical instrument and has its origins in hip-hop.

The updated version came to life during a band camp performance when Lewis and Stevens burst through with their version as the flute section played the alma mater.

Lewis, originally from Rhinebeck, New York, said she enrolled at Stony Brook primarily because of its marching band. “My high school never had one and although I’ve been playing flute for seven years in a concert band, orchestra and pit orchestra, I thought it would be fun to join a marching band.”


By Glenn Jochum


Stony Brook University News