The Eastern Michigan University Marching Band has selected Amara Booker and Noah Lopez to lead their 128th season as drum majors.
“The drum major of any university is one of the most recognizable student positions, and one of the most visible parts of our organization,” J. Nick Smith, marching band director, said. “They are great people who are capable of leading and modeling excellence in all forms.”
Drum majors are the leaders of the marching band on and off the field. Their job is to guide the band through the instruction of the band's directors and show the ensemble what qualities they should represent as a part of the band.
Booker, a junior who is double majoring in criminal justice and psychology, is taking the role of Head Drum Major for the Marching Band this season. This will be her fourth season as a part of EMU’s marching band and her seventh season being in a marching band.
Lopez, a junior majoring in music education, is taking the role of Co. Drum Major for the Marching Band this season. This will be his fourth season as a part of EMU’s marching band and his eighth season as a member of a marching band.
The selection process for drum major included a few stages of auditions. Students had to submit an application, hold an interview with the director, and perform a live audition in front of the band.
Booker and Lopez were happy about being chosen for their new positions.
“I remember Amara ran up and gave me a huge hug in that moment,” Lopez said in a written statement. “I am very grateful to have been chosen.”
Lopez hopes to inspire other BIPOC to be band members and to show that anyone can be a drum major.
“I hope to give drive and inspiration to people of color, that they can be role models and be the face of change,” Lopez said. “I hope me being chosen as Drum Major will help people see it really doesn’t matter that Amara and I are of a different race than the traditional face of leadership on campus has been, but we are just two people that have a passion for being leaders and playing amazing music with an outstanding band.”
Booker also hopes that she and Lopez can inspire and represent other students of color through their new roles.
“I know from experience anytime you enter a space and you can look to members of your community that are in leadership positions, it changes your perspective on what you feel you can accomplish in that group or space,” Booker said. “We can be that representation for people, so people can know it's not that far out of reach from them.”
Their goals for the upcoming season include wanting to fill the big shoes left for them by the former leadership, giving a sense of community to the band, and wanting people to be excited when they hear the EMU Marching Band.
“Their dedication for schooling, excellence in their craft, and working hard shows that they are great ambassadors of our program,” Smith said. “They embody everything our organization wants to put forth.”
For more information on the marching band’s plans for the fall, visit their website at www.emumb.org.