Cymbals for Pregame and Mallets for Halftime (Years 1-3), Drum Major
(CLAS ‘ 15), Government Major, History Minor
HoosNetwork: What were some of your favorite songs to play as a part of the CMB?
Earl: My favorite song to play was “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” by Santa Esmeralda. We performed this at the 2013 Homecomings game. Former Drum Majors of the CMB conducted the band and we were later joined by members of the CMB alumni who performed with us in that show.
Another favorite performance of mine was our show with the Temptations at the Penn State game in 2012. We performed some classic hits such as “My Girl” and “Get Ready” to a sold-out crowd and a close win at the end as well.
My favorite songs this past season were “Smooth Criminal” and “Livin’ La Vida Loca”. Not only did were these pieces exciting to perform, the marching was fantastic. For “Smooth Criminal”, the drill was designed to have a stick figure moon walking and for “Livin La Vida Loca”, the drill was set up so that it was a couple dancing.
HoosNework: How does your travel with the band and general participation in the band impact your study? Do you find it difficult to keep up or do you have a routine?
Earl: With any course or activities, good time management skills are necessary. While there may be a few times in the semester when everything is due the same week, overall I have not found it difficult in managing my commitments and balancing band with my other classes. Being in a ensemble, you are bound to have a class with someone in the band or know of someone who has taken the class before. The support system within the band to ensure we keep up with our studies is great. Mr. Pease, our Director of Bands, ends each rehearsal with the phrase, “See you in the library!”. Often times, band members will go study together at the libraries after rehearsal. Marching band requires a high attention to detail, which has helped with my study, whether it is working on a term paper or collaborating with others on a group project.
HoosNetwork: What do you like to do outside of band?
Earl: Outside of band, I serve as a UVaClubs Student Ambassador to the Washington, DC club and am an advisor in PAFN (Peer Advising Family Network). I also intern at the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at UVA in the mornings.
Earl: One of the exciting things about the CMB is that we learn new music and drill each week. Learning a new show – especially when we learn and perform three brand new shows in three consecutive weeks – can be difficult at times, but the energy, focus, and dedication demonstrated by all 320+ members helps make each practice a success. Rehearsals run smoothly thanks to the hard work of our section leaders and drill instructors, and everyone’s active participation.
Earl: I will never forget my very first home game performance – the game against William and Mary in August 2011. The first time coming out of the tunnels and onto the field was an unforgettable experience – cameras are flashing, the players are warming up, and over 60,000 fans are cheering you on as you get ready to kick off the season. Any hint of exhaustion was quickly gone and the excitement from the crowd provided the energy to perform my very first Pregame show.
The Chick-fil-A Bowl game was an exciting post-season trip that I was able to attend the Winter Break of my First year. We explored Downtown Atlanta, spent time with the Auburn band, and got to both practice and perform at the Georgia Dome.
Serving as one of four Drum Majors this past season has been one of the highlights of my life. I am thankful for working with such a great group and getting to meet everyone in the band. The support from the community, the University, and peers is outstanding and we are happy to do our part entertaining the crowds. I can’t imagine what it would feel like without a band present at a football game – something would be genuinely missing! The CMB has given me many opportunities and for that, I am truly thankful.
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