What does it mean to be a leader? Two new Drum Majors announced to lead The HERD marching band through 2023.
Drum Major is the highest student-held position within the marching band, and the students who will hold the position during the summer of 2023 were revealed recently by Scott Rabehl to be Mason Baloun ‘23 and Oliver Holt ‘24.
Both students expressed interest in the new roles and responsibilities that came with their positions, and particularly wanted to experience the band in a new way.
“If there’s one thing that I’m excited about being drum major is that I get to see the band from a completely different perspective,” Holt said. “I’ve always been inside of the band so being able to see what all of our maneuvers look like from the outside sounds pretty cool.”
“One of the things I’m excited about this year for marching band is practicing with the whole band rather than just a single section,” Baloun said. “I’ll be like a bridge between the instrument sections, [and] making way more friends than [in] any other season.”
It’s understandable why both Holt and Baloun were anticipating the ability to see the band as a whole, as both of them recalled a shared favorite memory: the Fourth of July parades The HERD performed in at Breckenridge and Frisco, CO.
“My favorite memory from marching band was last summer when we got to perform for the people in Colorado,” Holt said. “They seemed so excited to see us and it was fun to showcase what we can do to people outside of Minnesota.”
“My favorite memory in marching band was going on the Colorado trip and seeing kids just in awe, jaws agape at the band,” Baloun said. “Those kids didn’t know a real marching band until we showed up in flaming purple and black.”
In the summer of 2022, a meeting was held for students that wanted to be considered for the role of Drum Major in the following year, and by attending, they would be put into the competition. While anyone is invited to attend, (in Director Scott Rabehl’s words, “there’s no such thing as a wasted audition,”) the general demographic of students who attend are veteran HERD members who have gone through the entire experience, from arriving as an inexperienced rookie, to returning year after year as reliable members of the band.
“When I started [in] marching band I didn’t want to be there,” Baloun remembered. “I was a terrified little 8th grader and I couldn’t play five notes in a row. [Back then,] to imagine myself in a role such as drum major was incredible. I went into [the meeting room] because of my peers, and I left realizing that my passion for Marching Band came from a desire to be a leader. Hearing others’ goals and passions for this band made me realize my own passion for marching band. I want to be a role model, I want to be confident, and overall I want to be an excelling leader.”
“When I started marching band I was in 9th grade and I didn’t ever think that I would be a drum major,” Holt said. “I never had any intention of being a drum major, but my peers thought that I would be a good fit for the role, so I went to the drum major meeting and put my name in the mix. I was shocked to see that I was chosen for the role because I am the last person that you would expect to be a drum major,” he added, “but it’s such an honor to be chosen that I can’t back down.”