Aug. 23, 2018
The Saint Vincent College “March of the Bearcats” marching band will perform prior to the Pittsburgh Steelers pre-season game with the Tennessee Titans Saturday, Aug. 25, at Heinz Field.
That same afternoon, associate professor of music Thomas Octave will sing the national anthem at the start of the game, which will kick off at 4 p.m.
March of the Bearcats
The March of the Bearcats marching band was founded as a student club in 2008. The band is the newest, largest and most visible performing music group on campus. The band was granted academic status in 2014 and provides credit toward graduation requirements. The band performs every weekend from the start of classes through the end of November for all Saint Vincent College Bearcat home football games, select away games, marching band festivals and local parades.
Randall Kratofil is the director of the March of the Bearcats marching band. Additional instructors include percussion instructor Ed Dunlap and majorette instructor Haley Shivers.
Marching band and the marching arts are Kratofil’s lifelong passion. Studying trumpet performance at Penn State he was a member of the Penn State Blue Band, where he was selected as one of 500 college students to participate in the Statue of Liberty All-American Marching Band for the rededication ceremonies for the Statue of Liberty. The following year he was selected as one of 120 brass players to participate in the We the People 200 Brass Fanfare Marching Unit in Philadelphia, and as one of 100 Trumpet players for the Pan Am Games opening ceremonies in Indianapolis.
As an undergraduate studying music education Kratofil was a member of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Legend Marching Band. His arrangement of Sandi Patty's Make His Praise Glorious was performed and recorded by the band.
While working on his Master’s in Trumpet Performance at Carnegie Mellon University he began teaching drum corps. Taking additional graduate classes at West Virginia University, Kratofil also marched with the Pride of West Virginia Marching Band, making this the third college marching band to perform with each in three different decades.
Kratofil is also well versed in drum and bugle corps. He is a 2010 inductee into the Pennsylvania Drum Corps Hall of Fame. He has marched with several DCA corps including Westshoremen Buccaneers, Bushwackers and the 2002 four-time-consecutive DCA World Champion Syracuse Brigadiers.
Kratofil is founder, director, arranger and brass instructor for G Force Drum and Bugle Corps, Inc. G Force has made appearances at SCA South as well as local parades. He also helped support the startup of Three Rivers Indoor Percussion through G Force.
Kratofil has taught and arranged for many high school marching bands in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
He has also served as principal cornet for the North Suburban Symphonic Band under the direction of Warren Mercer, principal E-flat cornet for the NABBA Princeton Brass Band and the Allegheny Brass Band.
Professor Thomas Octave
Octave has earned degrees from Carnegie Mellon University and Duquesne University.
As a conductor, Octave is frequently seen presenting a multitude of varied genres of music. At home in the theater he has conducted numerous operas and musicals. Recently, his collaboration with the Theater Department of Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s production of “A Year with Frog and Toad” earned a Kennedy Center nomination. In recent years, he has collaborated with jazz legend Joe Negri in performances of “Mass of Hope,” The River City Brass Band, Highmark’s “The Caring Place” and renowned choreographer Maria Caruso.
A champion of new music, Octave has premiered several major works by composer Nancy Galbraith, including her “O Magnum Mysterium,” “God of Justice,” “Novena” and “Lumen Christi.”
He conducted the world premiere of Galbraith’s “The Passion of Christ” in England and in the United States. In demand as a clinician, he has presented workshops and guest conducted ensembles for Indiana University of Pennsylvania, John Carroll University, Benet Academy and for the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association.
He has also served as the director of music for the Blessed Sacrament Cathedral and La Roche College Campus Ministry. Octave has presented music for the First Lady of Uganda and The Queen of Jordan upon their visits to the Pacem In Terris Institute. He has also served as the assistant conductor of the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh, presenting with Maestro Thomas Douglas the Pittsburgh premieres of Bernstein’s “Mass” and David Chesky’s “The Agnostic.”
Octave is an associate professor of music at Saint Vincent, where he conducts the SVC Singers and teaches courses in voice, music appreciation and opera.
He is the music director for Bodiography Contemporary Ballet, MAESTRI, the Diocesan Choir of Greensburg and the Westmoreland Choral Society.
YouTube: Saint Vincent College