Brockman and Swierczek to lead AAMB in fall
New student section leaders and office heads also announced
Kokomo native Erik Brockman, and Stephanie Swierczek were selected to serve as drum majors for the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band for 2002-03. Swierczek, a junior political science major from Aurora, Ill., becomes the first woman in the band’s 116 year-history to return as drum major.
Brockman, a junior genetic biology major, served as drum major at Northwestern High School as a senior, and had long hoped to repeat the scenario at Purdue.
“This is something I’ve dreamed about for a long time.
Being in marching band is one of the coolest things I’ve ever done, and to
get to be the head of it is one of the coolest opportunities I’ll ever get,”
says Brockman who plans on hanging up his bear-skin drum major hat, and tuba,
to go to medical school after graduation in 2003.
Each spring candidates interested in the drum major position go through an audition process that includes mace twirling, an opportunity to direct the marching band in a public setting and personal interviews. Purdue is one of only a handful of universities nationwide who let the drum majors take charge of the band in the stands at football games, so leadership is emphasized throughout the process says Dr. David A. Leppla, director of the “All-American” Band.
Swierczek became just the third woman in the band’s history to be selected drum major in 2001. Anne Woods in 1991-92, and Cathy Tuttle Russell in 1993-94, each held the position for one year as seniors.
Entering her second year, Swierczek knows there’s a new level of expectation. “I’m pretty excited about it. I’m looking forward to improving on what I’ve done,” she says. Passing on traditions and skills passed down to her through generations of drum Purdue majors is a responsibility she takes seriously.
“It’s important to pass along, not just the technical stuff we do, but the pride in the position and in the band,” she says. “I’m looking forward to sharing everything I’ve learned from Shaun Jones with Erik.”
Brockman, who at one time considered being a music major, is well aware that he’s part of something big. From its marching style to its Block P to its special arrangements of tunes, the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band “is full of tradition and people recognize that. It’s such a well-known organization. It’s a neat experience to be part of its history, and now to have a chance to be remembered in the grand scheme of things,” he says.
Brockman and Swierczek officially begin their duties for the 2002-03 season with band camp in mid August.
Helping them with the leadership of the 340 member Purdue “All-American” Marching Band will be these student section leaders:
Kathryn Weise, Section Leader
Krista Kardesh, Assistant
Erin Genz, Section Leader
Bradley Rice, Assistant
Jason Dangler, Rank Leader
Traci Werner, Section Leader
Jeff Turkstra, Assistant
Ryan Warner, Section Leader
Matt Wheeler, Section Leader
Amanda Sarris, Assistant
Carrie Nash, Rank Leader
Kevin Hart, Rank Leader
Beau Moore, Rank Leader
Chad Lowenstein, Rank Leader
Carmen Nigh, Section Leader
Jon Rexeisen, Assistant
Brett Musick, Section Leader
Luke Nuber, Assistant
Duane Twining, Rank Leader
Kyle Upchurch, Section Leader
Bradley Fruth, Sectin Leader
Jennifer Campbell, Assistant
Nicholas Conner, Section Leader/Snare Drum Segment Leader
Nicholas Watson, Bass Drum Segment Leader
Scott Maxwell, Tenor Segment Leader
Monica Boothe, Cymbal Segment Leader
Student Office Heads for 2002-03 are:
Ryan Arfman – Operations, Chief of Staff
Rob Ballard – Records, Recruitment & Public Relations
Ben Murphy – Supply
Ben Herrick – Library
Kevin Murphy - Clothing