Thanks for the Memories: Notes from the 2019 Head Manager

HEY ALUMNI!Screen Shot 2019-12-03 at 3.13.36 PM

This past year has given me experiences that I will remember for a lifetime! I am a leader in other organizations on Cornell campus, and I can truly say that there is no other group that comes close to encompassing the Cornell pride and spirit as the Big Red Band does at all of our performances.

The start of the season began with new recruitment events as move-in transitioned into a 2-day event with recruiting outside of Barton Hall no longer possible. With the Orientation Steering Committee, we developed a new strategy to recruit members, which brought us nearly 150 students to auditions. With the Nines closed, a new tradition began of holding First Night in Willard Straight Hall with food provided to members by Shortstop Deli and paid for by the Band. Vice President of Student and Campus Life Ryan Lombardi made a special appearance at our first night of performances and shared his meaningful band experiences.

We had an exciting marching season with multiple exciting and fulfilling travels. Our first trip involved a performance at Herald Square before the Yale football game. Next, we celebrated the 50th Year of Women in the Band at Homecoming where our Show Committee designed The Women Empowerment Show. The following week we attended the Harvard football game in Boston with a concert at the Faneuil Hall. We then had 3 home football games, which included one under the Friday night lights. We travelled to UPenn at the beginning of November and closed the season at our final home game against Columbia where we ended the football season with “Cornell Victorious.” All of our trips this semester had an attendance of approximately 160 band members!

Outside of football games, our first Philanthropy Coordinator Oscar Tendilla offered numerous community service opportunities to band members early in the fall such as building homes through Habitat for Humanity. The Drumline dawned a new, all-black percussion set this season. The Uniform Committee is in the final stages of selecting a new uniform that the Band will wear for the next decade. Our relationship with Neil Adams, Ithaca College Instrument Repairman, was strengthened over the past few months. The Big Red Band is so grateful for Neil’s work on repairing our instruments and approximately 30 instruments that were previously unusable are now in working condition.

Throughout the semester, it was necessary to ensure administration’s expectations of the Band were upheld. Numerous traditions were reformed with our advisor to ensure our new members were given the most positive experiences in an inclusive environment.

I encourage alumni interested in the operations of the Band to reach out to the BRBAA council. Student leaders go to the council for support throughout their time overseeing the Band. Through the BRBAA council, you can voice your opinions and truly ensure that they fulfill their purpose of supporting a student-run Band.

I will always be supporting my successor and cheering on my underclassmen! Being Head Manager of the Big Red Marching Band was the most challenging position I have ever taken on, especially during a time of change on Cornell campus. As a first generation student, the Band gave me a sense of belonging and a home during my first month at Cornell. I will forever remember watching the Band empower female leaders!


Jill Crosby  ’21