From Left to Right: Doug Harnish, Jenna Wheeler, Sallie Hendrix and William Rowe. (Photo by Ryan Versey, Courtesy of the University of Arkansas)
Four drum University of Arkansas majors for the Fall 2022 Razorback Marching Band will lead the ensemble when the football team faces Cincinnati on Saturday, Sept. 3. Sallie Hendrix from Paragould, William Rowe from Conway, Jenna Wheeler of Van Buren and Doug Harnish of Sapulpa, Okla., have been selected as this year’s drum majors.
Hendrix, who will serve as head drum major, is a junior saxophone player majoring in music education. Harnish, a senior trombone player and music education major, will continue in his fourth year as a member of the marching band, though his first as drum major. Rowe, a senior mechanical engineer and trumpet player, is also a first time drum major. Wheeler plays bassoon and is a senior music education major.
In addition to being student leaders of the Razorback Marching Band, the drum majors will help coordinate rehearsals and conduct performances at halftime, for exhibition and in the stands. These select musicians also actively coordinate other campus and community performances.
Chase Jones, interim assistant director of the Razorback Marching Band – himself a drum major from 2009 to 2011 – was dazzled by the group’s performance during the band’s campus leadership camp Aug. 5- Aug. 7. Jones said, “This group has already put a lot of effort into the upcoming year, holding late night Zoom chats, teaching marching fundamentals to section leaders and helping with plans for all aspects of band operations.”
Auditions for the four spots occurred during spring semester. “[The process] spanned several weeks,” said Jeff Summers, interim director of the Razorback Marching Band. “It included interviews, marching and music auditions, as well as teaching and conducting demonstrations. Throughout each aspect of the audition, these four students demonstrated exceptional talent and leadership.”
Each year, drum majors are awarded the Preston and Kathryn Woodruff Drum Major Scholarship – awards created by Tyler Thompson, a Fulbright College alumnus and former drum major, to honor the Woodruffs for their ongoing, trusted service to the members of the Razorback Band.
The University of Arkansas Bands Program, part of the Department of Music in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, commenced in 1874, is one of the oldest band programs in the country.
More information about the Razorback Marching Band is available online.