NATCHITOCHES – The Spirit of Northwestern Marching Band has named Chloe Farrar of Shreveport, Abigail Kent of Benton and Jacob St. Pierre of LaPlace as drum majors for the 2020-21 academic year.
“Our drum majors are an integral part of the Spirit of Northwestern,” said Assistant Director of Bands Daniel McDonald. “They hold the top student leadership position in the entire band. Throughout the year, they work very closely with the directors on building the band through leadership training, recruitment, the band handbook, our visual training and a whole plethora of other activities. They are constantly in front of the band and are the students that best represent the qualities we strive for in our band program.”
Farrar, a sophomore biology major with a biomedical concentration and a minor in chemistry, is a graduate of Airline High School. She plays flute and piccolo and has been the piccolo section leader for the past year. Farrar serves as the current executive vice president of the Theta Nu chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi, a band service fraternity.
“Ultimately, the position of drum major is one of service,” said Farrar. “Being who I am and being in a service fraternity, I am always looking for more ways to serve the band program that I love. The Spirit of Northwestern has brought me amazing experiences, so many friends, and a second family. I wanted to pour back into the program that has poured so much into me.”
Farrar said the Spirit of Northwestern is what brought her to the university.
“I chose NSU because of the outstanding band program,” said Farrar. “All of my band directors from middle school and high school were NSU alumni, so I was introduced to the program fairly early. I then saw The Spirit of Northwestern perform at an exhibition at Parkway High School’s Marching Contest, fell in love with the band and knew from that moment that I was going to be in the band at NSU someday.”
Kent is a junior music education major, who is a graduate of Benton High School. She plays tuba and is in a leadership role in the band for the first time.
“Unlike most college drum majors, I have yet to have any drum major experience even from high school. However, it has always been a position I have had interest in,” said Kent. “I believe with my work ethic and respect from the Spirit of Northwestern and for the Spirit of Northwestern, I could join a team of three that would be able to lead the band with everything we have to give, and I am beyond excited to get started.”
Kent’s father, Jim Kent and her band director, Evan McCormick and both former members of the SON and that influenced her to attend Northwestern State.
“I wanted to attend NSU after hearing stories from my father and high school band director about their experiences,” she said. “In high school, I was still unsure of my major, but I knew for a fact I wanted to be a member of the SON no matter what.”
St. Pierre is a junior music education major and graduate of Archbishop Rummel High School in Metairie. He plays trombone and been a section leader for the past two years.
“When doing my college search, I learned about NSU’s fantastic music education program. I heard about the ‘Best Sounding Band in the Land’ and I knew I wanted to be a part of this band,” said St. Pierre. “While working this summer at the NSU drum major camp, I realized how much I missed being drum major in high school and wanted to do it again for SON.”
The first gameday performance for St. Pierre as a drum major is nine months away, but he is already thinking about it.
“I am looking forward to participating in the Spirit of Northwestern’s drum major tradition of leading pregame, which is one of the most public features of the drum majors that the public sees,” said St. Pierre.
The new drum majors see their roles as both leadership and service.
“An effective drum major should be a servant and an example setter in the band,” said Farrar. Members of the band should be able to look at the drum major as an example of what they’re supposed to do and a source of encouragement. As drum major, I also plan to be approachable and hope that my peers feel comfortable coming to me with their problems so that they feel comfortable and accepted in our band program.”
And Kent believes that service can take place in a number of ways.
“An effective drum major will serve the band to the highest ability,” said Kent. “Anything from conducting on the podium, teaching leadership classes and camps, to helping organize events the SON is involved in are all examples of the responsibilities of a SON drum major. Therefore, we must be diligent, organized, respectful, selfless and prepared for anything.”
Farrar also recognizes the importance of upholding the tradition of Northwestern State’s band program, which is widely recognized as one of the top bands in the nation.
“Without our leaders, drum majors and section leaders, our band program would not be able to flourish like it has, because our leaders have such a large role in achieving our goals,” said Farrar. I hope that our alumni will always be able to look at our current program and feel that we have held true to our traditions and who we are as The Spirit of Northwestern.”
For more information on the Spirit of Northwestern, go to https://capa.nsula.edu/music/spirit-of-northwestern/.