Falcon Marching Band starts season with new drum major duo

By April Leygraaf and By April Leygraaf

The first Falcon home football game on Sept. 9 kicked off the 2017 Falcon Marching Band season with their first show which was Panic! at the Disco themed.

    The band is led by director Dr. Michael King and drum majors Thomas Maddigan and Rebecca Shields. Both Maddigan and Shields are juniors, and this is both of their first years as drum majors. However, Maddigan had a previous student leadership role in the band.

    “Well they’re both fantastic musicians, they’re both fantastic leaders, they’re both wonderful conductors… and they both know when it’s important to be a showman or showwoman, but they also know when to step back out of the limelight and give credit where credit is due, to the band as a whole,” Dr. King said on why he chose the two as the 2017 drum majors.

    The drum majors have many duties besides conducting the band.

    “During fundamentals especially we are just another set of eyes and teachers. We go around to every section musically and marching wise and just provide any insight we might have on what is happening,” Shields said. Maddigan said they also assist with Falco, which is a small ensemble of students that play at University and community events.

    The band is doing five shows this year: Panic! at the Disco, video game themed, Falcon Flames, Anniversaries and the final show will be titled “To Mars”. “To Mars” will be a competition style show because this year the band has the opportunity to perform at the Grand National Bands of America competition at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The band is not competing there, but they will be performing in front of a band-oriented audience so they will be working on more complicated drill for that show.

    Both the director and drum majors have ambitious goals for the band this year.

    “We’re looking to kind of clean up what we normally do and just kind of strive for the best… We want to sound good, we want to look good, we’re trying to just be the best band we can be,” Maddigan said. With roughly 250 students in the band, it is important for every member to work hard and be cooperative so their performances look as smooth and clean as possible. The drum majors said they are also expanding their horizons on who is arranging the music and writing drill. They now have some students who are getting involved in those processes.

    Dr. King is confident that their shows will resonate with the audience.

    “The audience can expect to be entertained, I think the audience can expect variety, I think the audience can expect to see at least one thing that each of them can latch onto throughout the season, and I think as always they can expect a group that’s extremely supportive of the University as a whole,” King said. The group’s next performance will be at the home football game on Sept. 30 against the Akron Zips.