As the first home football game draws closer, the band is echoing the sounds of the fight song with Brianna Jarvis leading them in song.
Brianna Jarvis, senior in instrumental and vocal music education, is the Auburn University Marching Band's first Black female drum major and has said her new role has helped prepare her for the leadership position.
“It's been the biggest catalyst towards my growth as a person,” Jarvis said.
Her job as drum major consists of many different roles. Her primary role is being a liaison between the band director and the marching band to ensure effective communication and delegation of tasks. Drum majors are in charge of conducting the band in the stands and during the halftime show. They also lead the band onto the field and are student ambassadors for the band program.
“Drum majors are the top student leaders for the marching band,” said Corey Spurlin, director of the AUMB.
Javis said band is where she found her purpose as it is where she grew in many areas of her life such as being a leader and teacher.
This passion is where she realized she wanted to pursue her dream of being a future band director.
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“Brianna and the other drum majors model the integrity, work ethic, accountability and competency that we hope all band members will demonstrate,” Spurlin said.
With the anticipation surrounding this year's football season, Jarvis said she is "really looking forward to the energy in Jordan-Hare."
As the marching band contributes to the environment of game days, Jarvis is making sure she stays optimistic despite the ongoing pandemic.
“The atmosphere is going to be amazing,” she said.
This anticipation has also caused speculation of what this semester may hold for the football team.
“As with any season, we will face ups and downs, and the ongoing pandemic will continue to present challenges that we will have to overcome,” Spurlin said. “I am confident that the students in our program will persevere.”
As Jarvis has been involved with music since middle school, Spurlin said her hard work and dedication to the art have paid off.
“Brianna served as trumpet section leader for the 2020 season and did an outstanding job in that position,” he said. “She completed the four-day audition sequence for drum major last November and was announced as one of the 2021 drum majors in early December.”
Jarvis said she believes surrounding herself with like-minded people who hold similar characteristics and values has been important for her success in the marching band. Her teachers and band directors, both past and present, have helped shape her into the person she wants to be.
“I'm a big believer in iron sharpens iron,” Jarvis said.
She said she doesn’t want to learn from just one person because there are so many different lessons she can learn from people that she wishes to emulate.
“I like to pull from lots of different types of people,” she said.
Spurlin said he's pleased Jarvis's transition into the role of drum major is one of personal significance for her as well as one of historical importance for Auburn.
“We are really happy for Brianna,” he said. “As teachers, it brings us great joy to see students accomplish their goals. Brianna’s personal accomplishment also has historical significance for our band and university, which is cause for celebration.”
However, Jarvis's dedication to music goes beyond leading the band. She said she is working on fundraising for a scholarship for racial minorities and first-generation AU college students majoring in music for others to pursue their passion as well.
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