With great pride and humility I had the good fortune of being invited to attend a Spring Formal for the University of Cincinnati Bearcat Bands last week. It’s always a great time to revisit old colleagues and friends and to share in the celebration of new times to come.

As is customary at these functions a portion of the time this year I had the privilege of awarding 4 amazing items this year on behalf of the Drum Major Society and the Benken Family.

  1. All DMS Training Candidates received their Training Certification and a DMS lapel pin to wear in formal or marching attire (where permitted). Our class this year was dedicated, focused and a true joy to work with. It was a great honor to bestow upon them membership into our organization and I look forward to their involvement with the Society in the future.
  2. Long time student and Drum Major Ashley Lengel is finally graduating after many long year at the helm of the UC Drum Major Team. Her tireless efforts were formally recognized by the now tradition of receiving the Gold Whistle. We are so proud of her accomplishments, will miss her, and are proud to see her educational pursuits continue into her Master’s Program later this year.
  3. After consulting with previous recipients of the award, it is my please to announce that after many years, we awards Ashley Lengel with the highest honor one can receive within the Society, The Member of the Year Award. From our website: “The Member of the Year is the highest annually awarded service recognition bestowed upon a member of the Society. The winner is awarded the coveted Purple Lanyard signifying the wearer as the best of the best and our top service recognition. This award may only be given to one person and to that person only one time. This award need not be awarded each year based on the merit of the membership. Individuals are selected for this honor by previous recipients of the award. Only upon unanimous support of the prior winners may anyone be given such honor.” Ashley was selected unanimously by our previous recipients and has been added to the site in honor of this momentous occasion.
  4. Finally, on behalf of the Benken Family, Ashley also received the Julie Benken Memorial Drum Major Scholarship. This award, given by the family on behalf of their daughter and long-time Drum Major and UC Band Staff Member.

Ashley is a one of a kind member, confidant, and leader. She touched the lives of many thousands of students on UC’s campus and we couldn’t be more proud of her and her many well-deserved recognition Friday night.

A huge congratulations to her and to all of our students on their recognition last week!


Nick A DelleCave
Founder & Executive Director