Hey, all! In case you still haven’t heard enough of me, it’s Michaela, your 2014 and 2015 drum major! This season has been equally as exciting as the last (if not more so!) and the band has really accomplished an incredible amount. As a reminder of my background, I am a senior studying materials science engineering. I am formerly of the trumpet section, and still spend a lot of time there for pep band. In addition, this past summer, I marched trumpet for 7th Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps, touring and performing all over the country (but that’s a story for another time).
Our first show this year was The Who show, in honor of their 50th anniversary. Pregame featured a medley of Who Are You and Won’t Get Fooled Again, where the band struck many dynamic poses on the field (to the immense approval of our alumni audience at homecoming!). Halftime shifted moods with I Can See For Miles and, of course, closed with Pinball Wizard, with the band crowding the podium for the final chords of the piece. Conducting Pinball Wizard at homecoming with the alumni band was an experience like no other. The absolute wall of sound as hundreds of instruments crowded the podium almost blew me right off! The show was then taken on the road to Yale where it continued to impress!
The second show was the ever-clever (K)Night show. Pregame was Knights of Cydonia, and the song featured a new drum break where the band marched some impressive pass-throughs. This show was also unique in that it was played at our home game against Colgate, which was Cornell football’s first Friday night game in its entire history! The band certainly held its own under the Friday night lights, continuing with a halftime of Some Nights and Nights in White Satin (featuring a thoroughly gorgeous trumpet duet). The show was performed again at the home game against Harvard, where, from the podium, I was able to hear the Harvard band cheer as the band knelt midway through the song. Clearly, they were quite impressed, as was I! In addition to the regular season Cornell football games, the band made appearances at not one, but two, pro football games! Okay, one of them was a Canadian football game, but still exciting. The band adapted well to the 55-yard line as we brought parts of both The Who and the (K)Night show to Montreal. Then, the following week, we made our appearance at Ralph-Wilson Stadium to perform at the halftime show for the Buffalo Bills! Getting the chance to perform at an NFL game was both terrifying and exciting, but overall, certainly unforgettable.
For the next show, we once again made efforts in being somewhat relevant with our 80’s Sci-Fi Show. I say that’s relevant, as our pregame show was Back to the Future, in honor of it being 2015 (and if that reference is still lost to you, perhaps you’re less nerdy than I am). Halftime featured music from Star Trek as well as the Throne Room theme from Star Wars (which we premiered a few days after the trailer for Star Wars Episode VII came out—see, relevant!). During Star Trek, the band formed the Enterprise, and Throne Room concluded with an impressive company front. The show was taken on the road to Princeton where, the night before the game, the band performed a concert in Herald Square. The noise in the city attracted quite a crowd, and it was amazing to play for so many cheering people!
Our final show (the 8th show of my drum major career overall) is the Dragon show (I say “is” instead of “was” as, at the time of my writing this article, we still have one more performance). Pregame is a melody of music from Hobbit/Lord of the Rings, arranged by Victoria Dye ’16, one of this year’s showcomm chairs. Halftime opens with the driving Game of Thrones theme (arranged by Alex Settle ’16, my head manager last year) and concludes with music from How to Train Your Dragon. The show debuted at our home game against Columbia, where the football team got its first win of the season in a very close, 3-0 game! Hopefully, the music will be good luck again next week in our game against Penn (sucks)!
Overall this year, I could not be more proud of the band. This year, they have gone above and beyond and really pushed the realms of what this band is capable of. But, even more than that, I have been honored to be a member of this big red family, and have loved seeing the freshmen find their place here. Being drum major of this band for two years has been a life-changing experience, and I’ve treasured every moment. With this season winding down and my two terms coming to a close, I guess there’s only one thing left to say: thank you, band.