Drum Major Auditionees: This Workshop is For YOU!

Up close with former Cadets Drum Major Will Plenk

Auditioning to be a 2011-2012 Drum Major? 

Want to improve on your skills from last year? 

Dreaming of the day you first take the podium? 

Band season is just a few months away.  Now is the time to get ready!  5652-026-005F (Custom).JPG

Four Cadets alumni drum majors and the two current Cadets drum majors will present clinics focused on the skills and expertise necessary to lead a marching band from the band room to the podium.

With an emphasis on conducting, leadership and communication skills, this workshop is a must for anyone auditioning for a Drum Major position or looking to improve their skills for the coming year.


Drum Major Tip of the day: 

“The 1 percent of your job that occurs in uniform is easily the least important 1 percent of your job. Conducting is probably second on the list of least important drum major skills. Focus on the other 23.5 hours of the day.”

-Sam Saunders
Cadets Drum Major, 2002-2003

A Chat with Will Plenk, Cadets Drum Major 2004-2006

When did you decide to be a drum major and what influenced you to make that decision? 

There was no particular moment when I "decided to be a drum major." I always had the thought in the back of my mind that it would be a tremendous honor to be a Cadet drum major, but when I was marching it was assumed that there would be no official drum major "audition." The true audition was the sum of your actions as a member of the corps. Be a great member and lead by example -- become a leader and the "title" will follow. Sure enough, Matt Haines (other 2004 Cadet drum major) and myself were taking out the trash after dinner at an early camp when George Hopkins approached us.  "Step into my office." -his office was next to the dumpster- "You guys want to be drum majors?" The answer was an emphatic yes. We knew it would be a tremendous amount of work, but you do not pass up an opportunity to lead one of the most incredible organizations on earth. Being 19 years old, I was horrified, but we grow the most when we are outside our comfort zone.           

What was your best day ever as a drum major? 

My best day ever as drum major... any day we left the housing site on time? I don't know that I can really answer this question. There are many examples of days that brought me personal satisfaction. There are even more days that I look back on as great days because of the personal growth they instigated - often these are the days that might have seemed awful at the time. 

What is the single most important thing to becoming a successful drum major?

Service. Understand that it is NEVER about you. It is ALWAYS about the group. All of your actions decisions must be based on this.  

Just one example - If you show up to a rehearsal unprepared it has a negative impact on the group. Therefore, you would NEVER show up unprepared, regardless of how much time you will have to eat or how little sleep you might get as a result. --This is extreme and over the top, but you get the idea.  It is important on a personal level that you have balance in your life, but understand that accepting a leadership role sometimes requires sacrifice.  

How has being a drum major changed your life? 

As a drum major, I learned how to lead more effectively, communicate personally and publicly, handle disagreements, understand different personalities, and many more things that have translated into skills that I use every day.       




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