The Daily Gamecock

Drum major leads Carolina Band for first season

The Carolina Band is for many a game day staple, giving fans chants to cheer along to and halftime show entertainment. Kylie Dolbier, a third-year music education and clarinet performance student, is drum major for the first time this season after being a member of the band since her freshman year. 

This year, a spot opened up for drum major, so Dolbier auditioned for the role and joined the two other drum majors, Will Moon and Alex Easterday, both fourth-year music education students.

The main role of a drum major is to conduct each halftime show. This season, she has to learn seven different shows. Dolbier acknowledged it’s challenging to learn all of the music for one show in less than a week.

As drum major, Dolbier is in charge of keeping time, cueing when band members enter and directing when the musicians get louder and quieter. Dolbier’s favorite aspect is spinning the mace, which is basically a large baton, at the pregame show.

One sacrifice drum majors have to make is not being able to play with their section during games. Dolbier still gets to play clarinet in the USC Wind Ensemble and the Carolina Basketball Band. 

“Even though I miss being in the clarinet section sometimes, I really love the new challenge of being drum major and I love having the extra opportunity to serve the band in that position,” Dolbier said. 

Dolbier said that while band members don't have to be music student, studying music in the classroom has helped her grow as a musician in the band. She said she benefits from being taught the skills to interpret the music and is able to build essential relationships with professors within the music department. 

She came into college as a business student and solely pursued music as a hobby at first. 

“Because I loved music so much that I didn’t want it to be a career and risk getting tired of it,” Dolbier said.  

It wasn't until her first homecoming performance, when she got to interact with band alumni who returned to appear with current band members on the field, that she realized how much she wanted to commit to music. 

“I saw them and I thought that’s so cute, but I don’t want to be that. I don’t want to experience band like one time a year,” Dolbier said. “I want it to be something that’s every day and so that was kind of the turning point.”  

Dolbier said ever since she made the decision to switch to a music major, college has been a much more "joyful" experience. 

“I really felt like I was doing something that was going to be fulfilling for my entire life and that I could really share with people,” Dolbier said.  

Dolbier said it sometimes feels like most people don’t realize how much hard work is put into the band, but loves spending time with the band members. 

“Everyone does a fantastic job,” Dolbier said. “It’s such a good group and everyone is so passionate about it, so yeah everyone all finds it worth it in the end.” 


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