Two years ago, you could see him up front, leading the UWL Screaming Eagles Marching Band. This fall, he’ll be leading the 150-member band behind the microphone.
Former drum major Andrew Jones picked up the mic in September to become the voice of the Screaming Eagles Marching Band. It’s the first time in 50 years that a Wirkus won’t be calling the pre-game and half-time performances for the UWL band.
Terry Wirkus, ’79 & ’88, retired last season following 25 years with the band. The 25 years before that, his dad, Tom Wirkus, a former communications professor, made the call.
Jones made his first call at La Crosse’s Moon Tunes spotlighting UWL Thursday, Sept. 1, and featuring the marching band. See details.
Jones, a native of Winona, Minnesota, who now lives in Holmen, has always been passionate about bringing music and joy to those around him. He credits love for music to the outstanding music educators he had while growing up.
Jones brought that passion to UWL, earning a music education degree in 2020. He was an active member of a variety of UWL's music ensembles: Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Jazz Orchestra and, of course, the Screaming Eagles Marching Band. During his four years marching, he played saxophone for two years and spent the last two as a drum major.
Jones started his second year in the Holmen School District this fall as the assistant band director at Holmen High School. He co-directs the Marching Vikings and directs the Symphonic Band and Jazz Band.
Jones is looking forward to his newest gig — being back with the Screaming Eagles. He says it’s a way to give back to the people and community that gave him wonderful memories and friendships he cherishes so much.