SAN ANTONIO – When Notre Dame takes on Army at the Alamodome on Saturday, it will be a homecoming for two members of the Fighting Irish marching band.
San Antonio natives Luisa Maber and Nathaniel Hanson said they are excited to be members of such an iconic organization.
"It's been phenomenal," Maber, a Clark High School graduate, said of the homecoming.
The visit to the Alamo City was also a treat for some of her friends, as Mable served as tour guide.
"Show them the Alamo, the River Walk. People have been really excited about Tex-Mex food," she said.
Hanson said the visit was special for him because the band practiced Friday at his alma mater, Central Catholic High School.
"It's incredible," Hanson said. "So many familiar faces. Shook so many hands. It was such a treat," Hanson said.
While the students hail from the same city, they took different paths to become members of the band.
Maber, who plays the bass drum, was a member of the Clark band for four years.
When she got to South Bend, she took some time off from band. She then joined a small group of band members, who played at basketball games. The experience inspired her, and that's when she decided to try out for the marching band.
"The tradition behind it is just so amazing," she said. "It's been incredible to be a part of the game day experience to walk around in uniform. People ask me to take pictures with them."
Although Hanson had always wanted to play a musical instrument, he didn't have the time to learn in high school. But when he got to Notre Dame, he decided to fulfill a dream, so he joined a program at school that provided him with a trumpet and lessons from a tutor. After a year, he attended band camps and tried out.
"I found out that I made it, I was thrilled," Hanson said.
Maber and Hanson are thrilled that part of the halftime show formations will include a Texas-theme.
"It's been great. I am actually in the heart of Texas when we make those formations," Maber said.
"It makes me feel so at home," Hanson said.