620 CKRM Rider Pep Band Continues to Be the Life of the Party

Through the sun and the rain, the 620 CKRM Rider Pep Band has provided energy, spirit and much more support with the Saskatchewan Roughriders for over three decades.

One of the main features of Roughriders games since 1993, the Pep Band has become both a supporter and ambassador of the football organization.

Volunteer musicians formed the group, performing at Roughrider home games and working as ambassadors for the team at events nationwide.

Rhonda Kerr-Smith is the last original member of the Pep Band that formed over 30 years ago when Regina Lions Band Director Robert Mossing approached the Roughriders and said the green and white needed a band, which led to Saskatchewan having their own Pep Band.

The band played in the end zone at Taylor Field during the 1993 season, which ended with the band’s first trip to the Grey Cup that year in Calgary.

Photo: 620 CKRM Pep Band

Since the beginning, the band has grown, according to Kerr-Smith.

“Every year, we’ve added new things, whether it’s music, new members, new performances along the way, it’s been incredible.”

In the first year of operation, Kerr-Smith says the band had a few performances at games in basically Rider t-shirts to this past year, the group already had 42 performances by mid-October.

During its inception, Kerr-Smith explains the instruments were the typical ones that you would find in a concert band, including flutes, clarinets, saxophones, trumpets, trombones, baritones, tubas and percussion, and now they have since developed into a brass band.

There is a wide assortment of age groups that comprise the band, with ages ranging from 19 to 80 who have volunteered their time with the band. In 2023, the band was represented by eight different communities in the province, with about 37 members.

The band’s playing schedule used to mirror the Roughriders regular season schedule. But now, Kerr-Smith says the group almost operates throughout the year, beginning with practices in February, leading up to the first game in the early part of summer.

Besides Roughrider home games, the band also has been involved in local, national and international competitions. She noted other sporting events they have performed include curling, bowling, baseball, and basketball. They have also played on occasions like homecomings, birthday parties, and concerts at senior residences.

She pointed out that the Pep Band enjoys playing at schools, including last year when the Grey Cup was in Regina. The band performed in seven different local schools in total.

This year, the band has 35 events at the 2023 Grey Cup beginning the Thursday before the game, with 26 members making the trip out east.
Schools will be on the schedule this year when the band makes their annual Grey Cup to Hamilton. The Riders Pep Band will be staying in Burlington, Ontario. Kerr-Smith said they would be performing at seven different schools in Burlington.

Since the band’s inception in 1993, the Pep Band has become a fixture at Grey Cups each November. Kerr-Smith explains the band enjoys all their events, but Grey Cup is the pinnacle of their season.

“Absolutely the thing we look forward to at the end of the year.”

Along with performances, the Pep Band serves as ambassadors of the Roughriders. Kerr-Smith said one of their favourite events was performing at Touchdown Atlantic in Halifax last year to help promote the 2022 Grey Cup.

“So, we can truly we say that we entertained fans from the east coast all the way to the west coast.”

Besides the music they create, Kerr-Smith feels a strong bond developed within the band.

“We’re a very tight knit group, friends for life kind of thing.”

Entertainment is one thing that will continue to fuel the Pep Band, according to Kerr-Smith.

“Continuing new music, keeping the interest there, keeping the interest in the Riders, keeping the interest in our communities here in Regina, Saskatchewan and just music in general, promoting music though having fun playing and entertaining.”

To learn more about the Pep Band, you can visit their website


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