2017 Student Leader Auditions

Student Leadership Job Descriptions

This is not an exhaustive list of expectations, but is provided to give applicants a general idea of each position. All student leaders are members of the WMB Council.

Drum Majors

Those selected for this highly-esteemed position have responsibilities that are musical, instructional, ceremonial, and logistical. Drum majors serve as a liaison between the band and the staff, conduct the band in rehearsal and performance, assist in the instruction and cleaning of visual and musical technique, take responsibility for field set-up and break-down, fulfill other duties as requested, and represent the band and the university in the best possible manner at all times. It is expected that drum majors are of the highest caliber in terms of musicianship, confidence, marching skills, maturity, and leadership. Since drum majors also conduct the band in the stands during football games, a working knowledge of football will be necessary. This is an area that can be remedied if necessary before the season begins.

We may return to the two-rank system of drum majors: Head Drum Major and Assistant Drum Major. Everyone who auditions for drum major will be considered for BOTH ranks. Applicants will not specify one or the other. There is no pre-requisite to be Head Drum Major beyond those for all student leaders. All those auditioning for drum major will be considered for this position, including first-time drum majors. The adjudicating panel will select the best candiate for the position. This rank brings additional prestige to the role of drum major, help to streamline rehearsals and performances (no switching over or trying to decide who's doing what), and will give the band a clear single point of focus when necessary.

Head Drum Major

This is the most prestigious position within the student leadership, and carries additional responsibilities.

  • The Head Drum Major (HDM) serves as the primary (center) conductor for the Wildcat Marching Band during the featured field show and rotates with the assistant(s) for the pre-game and special event shows (Alumni Band, Halloween, etc.).
  • As such, this person is the primary conductor during rehearsals as well. A strong grasp of the WMB rehearsal procedure will be necessary to fulfill this role successfully.
  • The HDM works with the staff (director or other designated person) to refine conducting skills and style and is responsible for coaching the assistant(s) in this area. Musicality, clarity, and uniformity of style are the areas of focus.
  • Depending on the candidate's strengths, other responsibilities may be delegated as well. This may include visual warm-ups, musical warm-ups, section coaching, et al.
  • When an assistant is on the center podium during rehearsal, the HDM will take his/her place on the field to help clean drill and visual technique.
  • Whether with the collective drum majors or alone, the HDM will be called upon to act as the representative of the WMB at events or when special guests are present.

Assistant Drum Major(s)

In addition to the responsibilities shared by all drum majors, Assistant Drum Majors (ADMs) have many similar responsibilities as the HDM, with some exceptions.

  • One or two people will fill this role, depending on the annual needs of the band. ADMs will conduct the band from the side podiums during the featured field show and will rotate with the others for the pre-game and special event shows (Alumni Band, Halloween, etc.). While the HDM will be the primary conductor during rehearsals, ADMs should be prepared to fill this role at any time if necessary. During the teaching/cleaning of the pre-game show in particular, ADMs may take over primary conductor responsibility.
  • ADMs will work with the HDM to refine conducting skills and style. This will happen during sectionals, especially earlier in the season. Despite not being in the center during the featured show, ADMs will still be responsible for conducting all the music in an appropriate manner. It is NOT the philosopy of the WMB that side drum majors simply "beat time." We expect ADMs to meed the musical needs of the performers in front of them just as much as the center drum major.
  • During rehearsals, ADMs will serve as field staff, aiding in the teaching and cleaning of drill and visual technique. A strong understanding of how to read drill charts and coordinate sheets will be necessary.
  • During run-throughs and as necessary during rehearsals, ADMs will conduct from their field positions.

Section Leaders

The concept of the sound and the marching style of the WMB are determined through communication among the section leaders, instructors, and marching band director.  Depending upon strengths of candidates and needs of the band, there may be multiple section leaders for some sections. Responsibilities include:

  • Accuracy of rhythm; accuracy of pitches
  • A section sound with a matched tone and pitch
  • Proper interpretation and style of all music
  • Consistency and uniformity of playing style
  • Proper care and maintenance of instruments and uniforms
  • Uniformity and style of all marching and posture
  • Daily attendance (conveyed to drum major or graduate staffer responsible)
  • Section cohesiveness

Colorguard Captain

The visual heart of the Wildcat Marching Band lies in the colorguard. The Captain is responsible for:

  • Coordinating with instructors to encourage and maintain uniformity of the colorguard
  • Coordinate maintenance of equipment
  • Helping members who are struggling or behind to catch up
  • Maintaining a consistent style in terms of marching and carriage
  • Daily attendance for the guard (conveyed to drum major or graduate staffer responsible)

The captain may be called upon to help write and/or teach carriage, and to assist in uniform and equipment selection. 

WMB Council Member-at-Large

Members-at-large serve as representatives of the band on the WMB council. Students who fill this role exhibit many of the qualities we look for in a drum major, section leader, or colorguard captain, but either are not interested in those positions or not the best fit this year (either way, the applicant indicated an interest in this position on the application). After the other positions have been filled, it is determined how many members-at-large will be selected, and the staff makes its best effort to select a representation of a cross-section of the band. Members-at-Large go through leadership training with the entire council and have an equal say in the WMB council and can be considered for all officer and chair positions. Members-at-large are NOT instructional positions and not a de facto section leader unless individuals have been directed to assist in this way. They a representatives to the council.. Generally, it is expected that all those applying for other positions also apply to be a member-at-large.