The good news: Jimmy Fallon's show asked UTC's pep band to be on TV tonight.
The bad news: Only 10 of the 29 musicians could go.
Those 10, their director, one Sugar Moc, one Mocs cheerleader, the cheerleading coach and Scrappy the mascot were on the road this morning for an afternoon taping of tonight's "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," which airs on NBC at 12:30 a.m.
"At first we weren't sure we would go because we weren't sure it would sound good with only 10 and we thought it would be divisive among the students," assistant band director Erika Shafer said in a phone interview this morning. Dr. Shafer is traveling with the pep band.
But the opportunity was just too great to pass up, she said, and students voted to send 10 players based on instrumentation that would present the best sound.
Mr. Fallon's producers sent a bus to pick them up this morning in Philadelphia, Pa., for the two-hour drive to New York City, Dr. Shafer said. They will return after a 5:30 p.m. taping today.
On Monday night, Mr. Fallon threw his weight behind the Mocs as his favored underdog team in this week's NCAA basketball tournament. On Tuesday night, his audience waved blue and gold shakers after Mr. Fallon introduced an original song by The Roots about UTC's coach, John Shulman. A highlight of the lyrics: "Shulman - the Don Juan of the SoCon."
Tonight, the UTC Pep Band and Scrappy will pump up the audience.
Pep band member Marcus Harris said UTC band members in Philadelphia were "shocked" when they heard about Monday's celebrity endorsement and tuned in to Mr. Fallon's show last night.
"The John Shulman song was hilarious," said the UTC junior.
Mocs on TV tonight will include Dr. Shafer and musicians Josh Smith and Josh Boiles, trumpets; Jarred Klein and Reed Bobo, tubas; Marcus Harris, baritone; John Rose, trombone; Kelly Knapp, piccolo; Nikki McClung, alto sax; Brittany Meyers, tenor sax; and Matt Broom, drums.
Cheerleader Sarah Eck and Mocs cheerleading coach Ashli Skiles will be on the set, along with Sugar Moc Emily Ryans and Amy Rutherford as Scrappy.
Mr. Harris said the band members are nervous about this afternoon's taping, but excited about the national attention their university is receiving.
"All my family and all my Facebook friends are talking about it and watching," he said.