When Frank Loomis walks out onto the football field this fall he no longer will march with the trumpet section, but will stride out in front to lead the MSU Spartan Marching Band and perform MSU’s traditional backbend.
Loomis, a human biology and neuroscience junior, was selected to join returning music performance senior Xavier Boudreaux as a drum major for the marching band.
“I’m a little anxious to get started, but I’m learning from a lot of awesome people,” Loomis said. “I believe I’ll be able to fill the role to the best of my abilities.”
Loomis found out early Tuesday morning by email the committee he auditioned in front of on May 16 had chosen him as the next drum major at MSU.
Drum majors typically act as leaders in the band, along with several other band positions, and are best known for the signature backbend they perform each game, Spartan Marching Band director John Madden said.
“When we bring in a second drum major, it’s to companion the senior drum major,” Madden said, adding that Loomis would act as an apprentice to Boudreaux.
Madden said it is traditional for a senior drum major on their final year to be paired with a novice drum major.
“Frank has to learn a tremendous amount from Xavier, and I think Frank would be the first person to tell you that,” Madden said.
The new drum major was chosen after nearly a month of training, and a “grueling” audition in front of a committee selected by Madden, the director said.
“(The position is) all about knowing yourself and really thinking about how you can make the role better and really make it your own,” Boudreaux said. “We’re both very excited for the upcoming year.”
Despite the great number of candidates, several members of the band said there were no sore feelings, and they would be surprised if there were.
“(Loomis is) a hard worker, and he shows great leadership skills,” said tuba section leader Taylor Sergent, a secondary education senior. “It just wasn’t a surprise that he would be the new drum major.”
Loomis was chosen out of 14 candidates who auditioned May 16, which also happened to be his birthday. The audition process included marching routines, giving commands and an interview for the top three candidates who made it through the first cut.
“It’s a really huge honor to teach everything our band stands for … to be a leader to future members of the band in a way that I had been led so well,” Loomis said.
Although auditions for the MSU Drumline ended on May 12, those interested in performing in the Big Ten Flags, Spartan Colorguard and Instrumentalists will have a chance to audition in June.
Madden said summer mainly is a time for preparation for the band, especially the drum majors, and although the whole band needs a break, the fall will be exciting for everyone.
“When we’re getting (close) to the first games with the new students mixed in with the old and the Spartan tradition … it’s going to be the best thing ever,” Madden said.
“When it gets close, you can feel it, (and) you can hear it.”