True Colors

SoE Seniors to Perform Virtually with the CBDNA Intercollegiate Marching Band 

School of Engineering chemical engineering majors Sabrina (right) and Serena (left) Gil are among the ten Rutgers University Marching Scarlet Knights chosen to perform in the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) Intercollegiate Marching Band (IMB). The identical twins will be joining nearly 1,500 performers from 200 bands in 45 states and Puerto Rico to perform in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game halftime show on January 11.

The IMB will premiere their video performance of Beyonce’s “End of Time” during the game, which will showcase the traditional aspects of a college halftime show – from musicians and majorettes to dancers and color guard members.

The Gil sisters will be among the IMB color guards. “Being accepted into the  CBDNA Intercollegiate Marching Band is a great honor, but more than that, it gives me a chance to participate in something I truly love along with my best friends. I’ve been a spinner for seven years now, and without this opportunity, I wouldn’t have been able to continue that history,” says Sabrina Gil. 

Her sister adds, “I came from a small high school band and worked hard to keep up with my talented peers, so this recognition means a lot to me. Being involved in the color guard, both in high school and college, has given me life-long friends and an opportunity to be creatively active.”

In the past, Marching Scarlet Knights have performed for President-Elect Joe Biden and on national television at halftime on Monday Night Football, yet University Director of Bands Todd Nichols is especially pleased that seniors like the Gil twins have been offered this chance to perform during the pandemic. “Our band students put in countless hours practicing, performing, and serving our university week after week in the fall,” he says. “This semester has been difficult for them not to be able to share their talent and passion with others. This is a performance opportunity these students will never forget.” 

The sisters have been members of the Rutgers University Scarlet Knights Color Guard since their freshman year. Next year, they will both be enrolled in the 4+1 Master of Business and Science program, where they will pursue a concentration in personal care science. 

“Sabrina and Serena are both great students,” says Helen M. Buettner, professor and chair of the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering. “When I taught them as sophomores, they had wide interests and a lot of positive, creative energy – so it’s totally in keeping that they’re also excelling in pursuits beyond chemical engineering.”

They gained experience as color guard members as high school students at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Edison. As School of Engineering students, they have maintained their ties with their high school by serving as its color guard coaches. “We just finished our second year of coaching earlier this fall,” reports Sabrina.

The twins  – who confess that they often find themselves thinking the same things and finishing each other’s sentences – agree that it is indeed a once-in-a-lifetime, historic opportunity to be among the 1,500 band members delivering a rousing virtual halftime performance at this year’s College Football Playoff National Championship.  

Visit to view the exciting performance.