Notes from the Ladder: Reintroducing Your 2024 Drum Major!

HEY ALUMNI!Pauws2024

I’m so excited to be writing to you as your 2024 Drum Major! Just in case you forgot, my name is Nina, but most people in the band know me as Pauws (pronounced like a “pause” button). I’m a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences from Sturbridge, Massachusetts. I’m planning to major in Psychology with minors in English and Performing and Media Arts (with a concentration in theater). My post-graduation plans still haven’t changed: I’ll be applying to law schools, focusing on family law. Hopefully, they let me in (fingers crossed)!

In the BRMB, I’ve spent a lot of time behind the scenes. As a past Drum Major and Show Committee Chair, I’ve loved getting to see how rehearsals have an impact on each member. Outside of the BRMB, I play my trumpet (and sometimes cymbals) in the Big Red Pep Band. This is also my first year on cymbals in the Cornell University Indoor Drumline.

Through a LOT of trial and error, I learned a lot about myself as a leader and the band itself. With a new understanding of what works and what doesn’t, I have a couple of goals for the upcoming year. I want to continue to bring our sound to old songs, and hopefully keep salvaging lost traditions. I plan on bringing these into spring music rehearsals. If you tune into Giving Day, you might hear a couple! I want to work new show music into those rehearsals, too. Our Show Committee Chairs are extremely prepared and full of ideas, so I’m excited to see how they’re mirrored in our shows.

We’re in a new post-COVID-shutdown era of the band, which opens up a lot of opportunities to set precedents. I want to help Section Leaders and Show Committee members feel confident in their abilities, especially when teaching the ropes to future generations. We’re already hitting the ground running; I held a forum with Section Leaders to talk about expectations, worries, excitements, and future plans. They had a lot of questions and want to do right by their members. They’re so positive and accommodating! I’m VERY excited to work with them this year.

On the topic of leadership, I’m looking forward to seeing the band grow again in this new era. The current freshman class is huge and seeks out opportunities for leadership. The new members we’ll meet in the fall have incredible role models to help them navigate Cornell. I’m also beyond ecstatic to be working with this year’s Head Manager, Emily Jones. She is such a dedicated, hard-working, kind person, and I know she’s going to do incredibly well.

This season is going to be eventful, energetic, collaborative and (hopefully) productive. I can’t wait to share our sound with you all. I’ll see you all at Reunion, Homecoming, Sy Katz, and more!

Nina “Pauws” Ellison ‘25