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Olivet College senior Margaret Callahan has been named drum major of the Marching Comets for the 2016-2017 season.

Callahan, a 2013 graduate of L’Anse Creuse High School – North, is the first student to serve as drum major since the band’s return from a 30-year hiatus. She looks forward to not only the fall season ahead, but also setting a precedent for the program’s future leaders.

“I am overjoyed to have the opportunity to lead the marching band into a new era. Under the direction of Mr. (Jeremy) Duby, the marching band will achieve great things – both during this upcoming season and for years to come,” Callahan said. “I look forward to joining a team of leaders who will lay the foundation for a great future for the Olivet College marching band program.”

Candidates began the drum major application process this past spring, which comprised of an essay submission and interview portion. In addition, candidates had the opportunity to participate in the final three-part audition that took place on Saturday, June 18 during a Leadership Day event hosted on campus for the band’s veteran members.

Olivet College Director of Bands Jeremy Duby described the event as both intensive and interactive, as each candidate was required to perform all audition-parts under the eyes of the director and their peers.

“Each candidate was asked to execute marching maneuvers called by the director of bands. The veteran band members were watching the executions for perfection. Each candidate then called a series of commands to the veteran band members to execute. This process allowed the band to decide if they were comfortable with taking direction from each candidate,” Duby said.

After also having to teach a randomly selected marching command to their peers, each of the candidates had to conduct and rehearse the National Anthem and Olivet College Fight Song with the band in the final phase of their audition.

“It is always a difficult decision and vote, especially when there are such strong candidates running for the position. It was a tight race, and in the end I am proud to announce that Margaret Callahan will be the drum major of the 2016 Marching Comets,” Duby said.

Upon graduation, Callahan hopes to attend graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology and is interested in beginning a career in human resources.

The Marching Comets are now entering into their second season after a long-anticipated return to the college’s music program in 2015. Last December, they were invited to participate as one of

seven American bands in the 2016 La Grande Parade de Paris – Champs-Élysées in Paris, France to celebrate New Year’s Day.

For information about the Marching Comets and other music ensembles, contact Duby at jduby@olivetcollege.edu.

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