Ed '65, MS (Ed) '68
As the University of Cincinnati Foundation engages support for the remaining two and a half years of the Proudly Cincinnati campaign, we encourage alumni to contribute their time, talent or treasure to the extent that their schedule and resources allow. Arlene Brill is an example of an alumna who gives generously of all three.
A 1968 graduate of UC's then College of Education, Arlene is thrilled that her love of music took her around the world, placed her front and center through the UC football team's championship transition and even bestowed the honor of playing at President Barack Obama's historic inauguration. Despite a long, slow recovery from spinal surgery, Arlene continues her active support of the University of Cincinnati Bearcat Bands, including mentorship at the 2010 band camp.
Why is the UC band so important to you?
Everyone who participates in the programs offered by the UC Bearcat Bands wants to be there. Most people don't realize that you do not have to be a music major to participate, although a few music majors do decide to join because they want to be a part of the group.
The Bearcat Bands are the heart and soul of the student spirit at events on and off campus. Band members make up the largest and most diverse student group on campus and provide a family atmosphere that many students are lacking. While participating in band programs, members learn many skills they will use in the future, such as leadership, responsibility, work ethic, commitment, teamwork, dedication, focus, cooperation, integrity, fairness and friendship, as well as continued musicianship.
What compels you to donate?
I believe in the "Tradition, Pride and Passion" of the band programs. I feel it's very important to help current and future band members have the same positive experiences I had when I was in band from 1961-67 — even when I was in grad school.
Are you a philanthropic person outside of your UC support?
I pick and choose the limited number of charities I support. There has to be a positive, personal connection involved in my selection. Some charities I support with time and effort; others, with financial backing. Donating both time and financial support for the UC Bearcat Bands was a "no brainer" for me. Anytime you have the opportunity to support a group of this caliber, who are committed to years of hard work both in and out of the classroom, it is well worth it.
How extensive is music in your life?
Music is still a big part of my life. I have volunteered with the UC Bearcat Bands, helping along the sideline during football season for years, and will continue to serve wherever there is a need.
I have continued to play my instrument and participate in the UC Alumni Band, the UC Summer Community Band and the UC Pep Band, filling in during basketball season when students are on break. I also have played with the Straits Area Concert Band in Mackinaw City, Mich., for several summers; traveled to and from Portland, Ore., since 1997 to march and play during the Portland Rose Festival with the world's largest all-adult marching band; and performed with another Portland-based all-adult marching band on many road trips since 2000, including the last inaugural parade.
What do you get out of supporting the UC Bearcat Bands?
I'm glad I can make a difference in an area that was truly the glue that kept me at UC. I believe that without my UC Bearcat Bands experiences, I wouldn't be the person I am today.