Marching Mizzou Remembers Lost Band Members
COLUMBIA - One morning in June, the lives of Marching Mizzou Band members changed forever.
Band members Sean Radcliff and Jeremy Porter died in a car accident after visiting a friend in San Antonio.
Since then, friends and family teamed together in many different efforts of remembrance and fundraising. On Oct. 8, the Missouri School of Music hosted a memorial concert with ticket sales going toward a dedicated bench in honor of the two men.
Friends remember the two friends vividly.
"They were both very similar, but very different. I mean, Jeremy was very quiet and reserved. I mean he always had something funny to say. Well, Sean was very happy-go-lucky, outgoing guy," Zach Mertens, friend, said.
Mertens remembers the night he received the news of his friends' deaths.
"It was a traumatic blow, I mean whenever we found out, over the summer, we called each other together. Sean was still in the hospital because he had not passed away yet. We were just such flustered, because we didn't know what was going to happen."
The two men were members of Phi Mu Alpha, the music fraternity at MU.
"Phi Mu Alpha had the opportunity to sing at both of their funeral services. It was a great release for all of us to be able to sing and just kind of express a part of our emotions through the music that we were performing," Josh Atkins, fraternity brother, said.
Through everything, music has been a bridge for expression for fellow musicians.
"Music has a way of trying to communicate something that you may not necessarily be able to express in words. It's a very powerful medium of expression. And it's something that as you continue to perform and learn how to perform, It really becomes more and more a part of you," Leo Saguiguit, saxophone instructor, said.
Even through such a tough time, Mertens says that he appreciates his friends in a new light that he has never before.
"Through that experience, we just discovered that we care about each other so much. It just really goes to show how much they meant to us and how much we mean to each other. And I think through this experience our bonds of friendship and brotherhood are much stronger."