The Green Machine Presents Fund-Raising Concert Tonight

Posted: October 7, 2009 at 1:03 am, Last Updated: October 6, 2009 at 3:50 pm

By Jill Graziano and Shannon Siemens

If you just can’t wait until the start of basketball season to hear the Mason pep band’s spirited covers of “Livin’ on a Prayer” or “Spottie Ottie Dopalicious,” then you’re in luck.

The pep band, the Green Machine, will perform a fund-raising concert at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall tonight at 8 p.m. The goal is to help the pep band accompany the men’s basketball team to the third annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-Off, an invitational tournament that will be held Nov. 19-22 at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico in San Juan.

“We exist as part of the Mason community – we’re students, staff and faculty – and the Green Machine is a focused manifestation of spirit and pride for George Mason University,” says the Green Machine’s leader, Michael “Doc Nix” Nickens.

“With the team going as far away as Puerto Rico, it will be tough for fans to get down there to support them. We’re not only going there as the band, but also as fans and as representatives of the Mason community.”

The Patriots will face teams from seven other NCAA conferences. Among the schools participating are Kansas State University, Georgia Tech, the University of Mississippi and Boston University. Mason will compete against 2008-09 Final Four participant Villanova University in the first round of the tournament. The games will be broadcast on ESPNU and ESPN2.

The Green Machine also supported the men’s basketball team at the 2007 Old Spice Classic at Disney World, in which the team placed third after outscoring the University of South Carolina. The Patriots also faced Villanova and Kansas State in the tournament.

After Mason’s appearance at the Old Spice Classic, Mason men’s basketball head coach Jim Larranaga said that “there can be no better exposure, nor better [public relations], than what our pep band did this past weekend.”

At Wednesday’s fund-raiser concert, the pep band will perform selections from its rocking repertoire, including the Black Eyed Peas’ “Pump It,” Madonna and Justin Timberlake’s “4 Minutes” and the Green Machine anthem, Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.” Other concert performers are the Greater Good, a group of eight pep band members who formed a rock band over the summer; and Doc Nix and a student combo.

“While we do perform parts of songs at basketball games, this is a great opportunity to showcase the talent of the band,” says Shannon Siemens, pep band manager. “We get great feedback from fans when we perform full-length songs at half-time. I am positive that there are no other pep bands in the country quite like Mason’s.”

VIP tickets are $50; adult tickets are $25; and students “pay what you can.” Tickets are available at www.gmu.edu/cfa or at the Center for the Arts box office prior to the concert.

Write to gazette at gazette@gmu.edu