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'I'm just a band member' | Ferris State president has played with the band for 17 years

Despite David Eisler's busy schedule, the 68-year-old plays his clarinet with the band every chance he gets.

It's the familiar soundtrack you'll hear at any college basketball game.

The action on the court.

The passion in the stands.

And then there's the sound David Eisler loves most of all.

"They are marvelous musicians," Eisler says of the Ferris State pep band. “But beyond that, they are also great sports fans because they are always there cheering for our teams."

Eisler is the president at FSU, but that's his day job. At night, he takes on a different role and takes a seat with his favorite noise makers.

"Sometimes we'll chat and we'll chat about procedures,” said band director Dale Skornia. “And he goes, ‘Dale I'm just a band member. I am not the president here. I'm just here to have a good time.’”

And that he does. Despite his busy schedule, the 68-year-old plays his clarinet with the band every chance he gets. It's been that way ever since arriving in Big Rapids 17 years ago and it's not likely to change any time soon.

“I just started doing it,” he says smiling. “Sometimes people notice, sometimes they don't. I don't do it to get noticed. I do it to play for the students.” Who, by the way, are loving every minute of it.

It could be awkward hanging out with the most powerful man at the school but they say that's not the case at all.

“It's kind of a unique thing here,” said student conductor Jacob VanHarmelen. “We love having him play with us.”

And that appreciation is music to Eisler's ears.

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