Hey all! We’re Michaela Olson and Alex Settle, the 2014 drum major and head manager of the Big Red Marching Band! I (Michaela) am a sophomore double majoring in Materials Science Engineering and drum major (okay, maybe I’m just majoring in Materials Science). I’ve been playing trumpet in the band for the past two seasons, and I served on the show committee this past year. I (Alex) am also a sophomore studying Chemical Engineering. Formerly of both the percussion section and sax section, I also served as treasurer in the fall. Our terms have only just begun, but we’ve already gotten involved in many wonderful opportunities, and also have some very exciting events coming up!
We began the year by performing at the opening ceremony for the brand-new Computer Science building, Gates Hall. Much to the chagrin of the brass players (well, specifically, their frozen valves), the march from Fischell Band Center to Gates was done in single digit weather, but the performance was a rousing success, and added Gates Hall to the list of buildings that the Big Red Marching Band has paraded through. A rather successful January day!
In March, the Big Red Marching Band sprung back into action. We participated in the Be the Match Bone Marrow Donor Drive. Band members helped out by both aiding in running the drive, and also adding themselves to the registry. We managed to add 50 people to the registry—an enormous success! We also made a surprise appearance at the kickoff event for Hotel Ezra Cornell, and the sax section played a short concert at Cayuga Ridge Extended Care.
In early April, the BRMB continued its annual participation in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. We formed a relay fundraising team and performed for other walkers/runners during the event. We’re always happy to continue to be a part of this fantastic community service opportunity! We will also be participating, for the first time, in a Cornell-wide Bring Your Child to Work Day. We will be holding an educational session for 8-12 year-olds, teaching them about the joys of marching band to get them excited to join band when they’re older.
This year, the band’s annual Spring Concert will be held on April 19th at the Ithaca Farmer’s Market. Last year was the first time in recent years that the concert took place at the farmer’s market, and it was so successful that they asked us to come back this year!
We’re impossibly excited for the remainder of the spring semester and all of the chances to showcase the phenomenon that is the Big Red Marching Band. Naturally, we’re just as excited for this upcoming fall, which will feature trips to Harvard, Brown and Columbia (oh my!), and of course, Homecoming. We hope to see you all there!
Michaela Olson ’16 & Alex Settle ’16.