Music Maker

Music Maker

5 Students Who
Cherrie Lemon

Cherrie Lemon

  • Michael King
  • Amy Lohrman
  • Kenneth Tan
  • Cherrie Lemon
  • Danielle Yu

Name: Cherrie Lemon
Major: Chemistry
Year: Senior
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri

After four years of marching band in high school, Cherrie Lemon was done. She decided not to join the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band her freshman year, but that all changed when she heard the tapping of drums after class. Since her sophomore year, Cherrie has been a dedicated member of the marching band and is currently serving as the first African-American drum major.

Bold beginnings

“I was in the eighth grade band and out of nowhere I asked my teacher, ‘Can I conduct the next song?’ I didn’t know anything about conducting and she let me. I figured out the pattern: down, in, out, up and I thought, ‘I could do this in my sleep!’ She told me I should be a drum major in high school and I went from there.”

Humbled by success

“I’m a really grounded person because I know I worked hard to be a drum major, and I know a lot of other people did, too. I know as easy as you get things they can be taken away, so I wasn’t going to get a big head about it.”

Adrenaline rush

“Marching is one of those mental things that comes from within. When we walk out on the field, everyone is looking at us. However long it is that we walk onto the field, you just have to be on it and in the zone. You can’t think about anything else.”

Mutual admiration

“I like it when women come up to me feeling inspired. It’s always interesting to see how they get inspiration from me, and how they inspire me, as well.”

Fearless leader

“I think people are afraid to succeed because expectations change once you’re successful. People expect greater things from you from that point on because they know your potential. I hate wondering, ‘What if?’ The worst thing you can do is not try.”

By Kelly Rogers
Published December 1, 2011