Marching band introduces 2019 leadership

The Stevenson University Marching Band has begun preparing for their upcoming season, starting with the announcement of its 2019 student leadership team.

The SUMB leadership team helps cultivate a sense of community by planning events, such as this water balloon toss, during band camp. (Photo by Alexis Harris)

The leadership role is a key factor in the structure of the marching band. Section leaders are responsible for being mentors and guides to their section members, while also acting as direct liaisons between the students and director. Along with administrative responsibilities such as distributing music, “they are also going to be a leader within their section by being a big brother or sister to a freshman,” said Mark Lortz, director of bands.

Every instrumental and visual section of the band has at least one student leader. One or two students are also designated as the drum majors. The upcoming drum major is Emma Cathy Smith, a junior business communication major. The assistant drum major is sophomore Allie White.

The 2019 sections for which leaders will be named include the following:

Alto saxophone
Tenor saxophone
Front ensemble
Electronics coordinator
Color guard

Students are eligible for leadership positions only if they have been in the band for at least a year. The selection process consists of two steps: submitting an online application, and conducting an in-person interview with the director. In this interview, a candidate must demonstrating high performance skills. Other qualities necessary include verbal, oral and written communication skills, a positive attitude, professionalism with peers and band staff, dedication to mental engagement, the ability to lead by example, and the ability to motivate others, according to the requirements listed on the online application.

Attendees at this year’s concert band and University Singers concert will hear a piece of music that will be performed in next year’s marching band show, according to Lortz. He said he looks forward to the excitement in August when rehearsals begin, and the energy that will be felt when they debut the show at football games. Looking ahead, White said she is most excited to celebrate past traditions while creating new ones.

As drum major, Smith will have an instrumental role in the marching band. Some of her duties will include conducting the band and completing behind-the-scenes administrative tasks. She hopes to improve communication throughout the program, keeping goals aligned between the band members and staff.  Her personal goal is to be a relatable and inspirational source for her fellow members; recruitment and retention are also main priorities.

The music program will host two concerts as a part of Arts Alive! April. On April 25, the ukulele ensemble, University Singers, percussion ensemble, and concert band will perform at 7 p.m. in the Inscape Theatre. The Greenspring Valley Orchestra, which includes approximately 13 SU students, will hold their concert on April 28 at 4 p.m., also in the Inscape Theatre.

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