Person 2 Person: Kevin Kastens

Person 2 Person: Kevin Kastens

There's nothing like going to a college football game on a crisp, fall morning. The next Hawkeyes home game is not until the 28th when they take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers. But just as the players are practicing right now, so is another important part of game day.

We stopped by a rehearsal recently where the U-I marching band is busy preparing a special performance for fans on October 28th at Kinnick. At the helm is director Kevin Kastens. Kastens says, “Our role as a college marching band is to support the team, and entertain the fans." Kastens has enjoyed 20 years at the U-I in his 40 year career as a band director. He says, "I've participated in the coldest game, the hottest game, the wettest game, and the snowiest game, so I’ve hit all four of those over 20-years."

He's in his last season with the Hawkeyes looking forward to retirement and spending time with family in Arizona. For now, he's focused on getting the marching band ready for a special "theme" show for fans at the next home game - something that should appeal to most everyone. "I have great respect for all the different age groups and generations that attend Kinnick stadium, so we'll play music, this week it was the Beatles, the next game is going to be a Justin Timberlake show,” says Kastens.

In four decades - Kastens has never missed a game. He says his greatest moment came in January of 2016: the Hawkeyes versus Stanford in the Rose Bowl. Kastens says, "The Tournament of Roses. That's something every band aspires to do. It's something that had eluded me throughout my career, so that was my first time to get to go to Pasadena." The Hawkeyes lost that game - but it's the job of the marching band to keep fans spirits high regardless. "There's something special about running onto that field at pregame in Kinnick Stadium, and hear those fans start to roar. So they just love being part of Hawkeye football, and Iowa athletics."

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