ELLISVILLE – A new wave of Maroon Typhoon student leaders will take the field this year at Jones College. Two freshmen drum majors, Danielle Beech of Ellisville and Graeme Forrest of Richton will lead the 200-member marching band into a new era of musical style.
“The audience will notice we’ll have more instruments, especially brass on the field, and fewer dancers and color guard,” said Director of Bands, Dr. Ben Burge. “This is also the first time in a long time that we have had just two drum majors, but they are very capable. They are such power-houses.”
Both drum majors are bringing different experiences to the field as they begin their music careers at Jones. Beech spent the last three years leading the large, Band of Braves at South Jones High School. Meanwhile, Forrest was the drum major for just one year of the smaller Richton Rebels’ marching band. They are both ready and thrilled to ride the “Maroon Typhoon” wave of excitement as they near the end of the first week of Band Camp in their new leadership positions.
“I’m more excited than anything but I’m also a little nervous because Jones is a lot bigger program to oversee. However, I’ve wanted to be a part of a larger marching band for so long,” said Forrest who is a music education major. “Danielle is used to this big group and I’m not.”
Beech’s marching band experience is extensive and includes competing and winning numerous trophies at South Jones. Additionally, she was part of the South Jones High School Indoor Marching Team that won its first-ever, Winter Guard International Scholastic Open World Championship in Dayton, Ohio last spring. While Beech may not be very nervous about being a drum major at Jones, she is concerned about juggling her classes and getting good grades to ensure a spot in the nursing program. Burge assured both drum majors, they will have help carrying out their duties.
“Band kids are the best whether they are a part of a 15-member or 215-member band. All we ask is for them to bring any concerns they have to us and we’ll help them make this a positive experience,” said Burge. “As a part of the direction team leaders, drum majors and band directors work together to make the band the best it can be.”
Fans will have to wait until the first home football game to get a preview of the “Dreams” show, Thursday, September 12, at 7 p.m. when the Bobcats face Hinds. The band will be performing at the, A Night with the Bobcats event on Tuesday, August 27, at the Student Center Plaza. Jones College athletes will host a “meet and greet” from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. with games and other events available for fans. At 7:30 p.m., the Maroon Typhoon will perform with the cheerleaders and the soccer and football teams will be introduced.