By Harrison Orwig and Veronica Klingel
For the first time in the Spartan Marching Band’s history, our organization is to be led by two female Drum Majors. We are thrilled to announce that Samantha Barringer will be the SMB’s sixth female Drum Major, joining veteran Lisa Lachowski in our upcoming season. Samantha is delighted to be a part of the band’s leadership team and is excited to serve the organization this fall. “It is an honor to carry on the SMB’s legacy, history, and tradition in this position.”
Samantha has dreamt of leading the SMB since she saw former Drum Major Evan Bahm take the field at a performance she attended when she was in middle school. “[I] made it a goal right then and there.” But for Samantha, being a Drum Major is about so much more than leading the band onto the field. She is dedicated to working just as hard behind the scenes to maintain the high standards the band has upheld since its beginnings. “I love the leadership responsibilities, as well as the opportunity to create deeper relationships with my peers.”
Samantha feels that being named the next Drum Major is especially impactful because of what her nomination means for the organization as a whole.
“It’s really exciting that we made this milestone,” she expressed, referencing the organization’s progress in naming two female Drum Majors. “When I got the position at the end of the audition, the first thing I said to Lisa was ‘We’re making history today.’” Samantha was also quick to point out that the Spartan Marching Band is not alone in reaching this landmark achievement. “Central Michigan University’s Chippewa Marching Band has two female Drum Majors for the first time ever as well. The world is evolving and we hope to empower women throughout the world.”
Samantha hopes to spend her three years as Drum Major working towards a more motivational environment and continuing the SMB tradition of diversity and inclusivity. “I would like to establish more of a safe space in the SMB…It’s really great that the SMB is approaching more of a social media presence because, with that, high school students can follow up on their ‘preferred’ section and feel motivated to audition for SMB. It helps them understand who we are and what we do based on our feed and posts. It will be a great way for us to connect with high school students and potentially get more members.”
After marching one season as a member of the Big Ten Flag Corps, Samantha already considers the SMB her MSU family. Now, as a leader of the SMB, she is passionate about sharing that sense of family. “The SMB means ‘home.’ [It is] a place where I have people who have my back, who are here for me, who help me be the best student/marcher I could possibly be. It’s a safe space for me, and for everyone. A place where all 300 of us can come together and make some beautiful music, creating friendships that will last a lifetime.”
Hailing from Wixom, MI, Samantha is a second-year member of MSU’s College of Music Flute Studio, pursuing a degree in music education. She aspires to earn a Doctorate of Musical Arts in conducting in hopes of beginning a career as a professional conductor. Outside of band, she enjoys running, traveling, cooking, and trying new things.