PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Closing seconds at Consol Energy Center. Villanova goes down to defeat, as the band plays on. Video of piccolo player Roxanne Chalifoux, playing through tears, goes viral.
Later, on a Philadelphia radio station, she says:
“Little did I know that image, along with the video and multiple other pictures, were going to wind up all over the Internet. It was heartbreaking. I’m a senior in the band, so I knew it was going to be my last game.”
Reactions on the web have ranged from sympathetic to “Hey, it’s only a game.” We wondered how students at the other end of the state, the Pitt campus, would react.
“I think it’s good that she would keep playing, even though the lost,” says Pitt sophomore Linda Morse.
“I don’t like Villanova, so it was pretty good to watch that,” Junior John Biuchner said with a laugh.
“She’s emotional. Probabaly a senior,” says former high school band member Eric Floyd. “Probably her last game.”
Pitt band director Brad Townsend says he understands completely.
“They’re the most dedicated kids at their school. And they take any losing hard, and they’re elated on any winning, especially in something like this that just happens so quickly. It’s hard.”
“Even if you’re crying, I don’t think that’s an excuse not to pick up your instrument and play,” Roxanne Chalifoux explains.
“Let her have her little cry,” says Sandy Moore of Monroeville. “Don’t make a big deal out of it. It’s a good thing.”
For the weeping piccolo player, Pitt Sophomore Nate Phillips has one final note:
“Much like Pitt’s basketball season. We’re all playing the piccolo here.”