Meet the band: Nikki Sanford, Drum Major

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Nikki Sanford – Drum Major
5th Year, Traverse City

WHAT ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT FOR THE 2018 SEASON?

I am excited about this next season as the leadership team has already begun preparing for it. We have big shows planned and always consider student feedback to further improve our band. I am looking forward to the big games that will be held in Spartan Stadium as well as our travel to BOA.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE SMB?

My favorite part about the SMB is the people and the support from the community. I have made some of the best friends in my life through this organization. We all work hard towards a common goal bigger than ourselves which is something that I am very proud to be a part of. On game day, our hard work pays off through our performances and the love that we receive from the community and alumni.

WHY DID YOU AUDITION FOR THE BAND?

I auditioned for the band because of its stellar reputation for a high standard of excellence and the community support that comes with being in the band. It was a great way to be welcomed into Spartan culture before school even began. I feel like I am giving back to my school while participating in music in a way that is unlike anything I had prior to the SMB.

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED THROUGH BEING A PART OF THE SMB?

I learned that SMB culture runs deep throughout history. Alumni who come back for games or see our band jackets share stories of their experiences in the band. The tradition of the band creates a shared bond between generations of people.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR THOSE NEW TO THE SMB OR THOSE PLANNING TO AUDITION?

My advice for those auditioning would be to come in prepared well musically because we have high expectations given the number of people who come to audition. I also would advise for you to have an open mind and be ready to learn about marching technique, especially if it differs from your past experience. For those new to the band, be open to meet new people. The vet members are thrilled to meet you and be a mentor to you. Be ready to work extremely hard and come prepared. With these things in mind, you will have a successful and rewarding season ahead!