Drum Major Training Program

The Drum Major Society offers a training and tryout program that is designed to assist both seasoned and inexperienced Drum Major candidates with leadership skills, understanding basic style, technique, and pattern construction.

The program has a MINIMUM set of requirements that each candidate must achieve in order to be considered eligible for certification:

  • Attend all required DMS Training Sessions
  • Complete a conducting exercise in front of our panel of experts
  • A selected group of students will participate in a second round of auditions
  • An essay qualification form is required for all candidates and will be administered at some point during the Training process.

Both current and alumni Drum Majors will assist in hosting a series of workshops supplying potential candidates with the information they need to hold the position. Sessions may include the following:

  • Leadership Skills
  • Conducting Technique
  • Score Analysis and Composition
  • Vocal Commands
  • Reverse Interview
  • Etc.

In addition to the substantial resources offered above, each candidate will receive our Drum Major Handbook and will utilize it throughout the training/tryout process.

While there are a MINIMUM set of requirements all candidates are highly encouraged to participate in as many group workshops and private sessions as their schedules permit. Arrangements are made through the DMS Training Director and assigned personnel based on mutual schedule availability.

Basic Drum Major Responsibilities

The Drum Major is the direct agent of the band director and is the highest-ranking student in their organization. Multiple Drum Majors are in turn ranked by their director. The primary responsibility is to conduct designated rehearsals and performances. The Drum Major relays any information regarding rehearsals, performances, and schedule to the band. The Drum Major is the primary student representative of the band. Information from the band should be directed towards the Drum Major and they in turn will relay it to the Director of Bands. The Drum Major is also the principle contact for the director. The director informs the Drum Major of any information necessary and they in turn contact officers, section leaders, etc.

Basic Drum Major Qualifications

  • A minimum of 1 year as a regular marching member
  • Prior experience as a drum major or field commander is preferred
  • A working knowledge of correct conducting and teaching techniques and methods, including score reading
  • An understanding of the physical and mental demands of the brass, woodwinds, percussion, and auxiliary sections
  • Superior marching technique and style
  • Ability to read and teach drill charts and marching style
  • Willing to be present at every band function
  • Superior leadership skills including a pleasant manner and conduct
  • Superior physical and mental capabilities and appearance