From the Office: Notes from the Head Manager

Hello Alumni,beyan_bn

It has been a pleasure serving as the band’s 2023 Head Manager. While this past year has been a challenging one, it has definitely been extremely rewarding and I could not have asked for a better term.

There were a lot of changes introduced in the start of our term, such as a new Operational Lead, a new Drum Major advisor, and working with a new Majorette team that was formed this year. While these changes were overwhelming at first, they worked out very well for the band. Through the year, these relationships have become more defined, and I hope they can continue to be positive ones going into 2024. As many of you saw during Homecoming, we gave a fantastic performance with the Majorette dance team. It has been such an honor to be a part of Cornell history bringing in a dance group with such significance in black culture.

My goals at the beginning of the year were to further define the role of the Diversity Chair, promote retention, and ensure that trips to Yale and Harvard were able to continue post-Covid. All of these goals were met throughout the year. We shifted the Diversity Chair position to a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. While getting the position off the ground was hard, plans for the benefit of future generations were eventually put into place. Some things that our DEI Committee worked on was maintaining a list of events from different diverse organizations happening on Cornell’s campus for the band to attend, providing education on social media during important history months, and working with pub chairs to promote other important events.

Having great new member retention was a huge goal going into the fall semester. High retention indicates that new members feel there is a community in band and want to come back every day to continue to be a part of it. Another key part of retention is that members feel safe in band, which is extremely important to me. Band was the first community I found at Cornell, and I wanted to ensure that new members could feel the magic I still feel to this day. Our retention this year has been phenomenal. Most of the new members that joined at the beginning of the semester are still active, which is a sign that we as leaders were able to do our job well this year.

My last goal was to ensure trips like Yale and Harvard (which haven’t happened since 2019) were able to happen. Thankfully, we were able to travel to both this year. Even though the performance at Herald Square could not happen, we were still able to connect with our alumni in the New Haven area during the Yale game and our post- game concert. Two weeks later, we traveled to Harvard and performed at Faneuil Hall. During this trip, we were able to cheer on Cornell at the game, explore Boston, and perform for our families and alumni in the Boston area. We also traveled to Penn in early November. In previous years, we’ve run across issues with Penn, but this year due to our work and previous Head Managers’ work, we were able to avoid all issues that have occurred in past years. Overall, all of our trips were successful and we had a ton of fun traveling to other Ivy League Universities and seeing everyone there.

Aside from football games, we were able to continue enjoying on-campus/local performances such as Dragon Day, Spring Concert, Cornell Days, Senior & New Student Convocations, Reunion, Special Rehearsal, and many more. The band also enjoyed giving back to the community with philanthropy events like the instrument exhibit at the Ithaca ScienCenter and assisting with tree planting at the Botanical Gardens.

Looking back on the past year, I am so happy I was given the opportunity to serve as the 2023 Head Manger and I am proud of all that has happened this year. None of this, though, would be possible without the constant support and hard work of Pauws and Bandstaph. Also, I’d like to thank Slice for his work leading the Pep Band in an amazing year. Lastly, nothing would be possible without the huge support of our alumni base, so thank you as well.

I look forward to seeing what future band leaders do and I am excited to see our organization that we all love keep growing. Thank you for an incredible year.

Beyan Kesselly ‘24