Home New Hawkeye Marching Band Drum Major Reflects on Leadership Journey

Hawkeye Marching Band Drum Major Reflects on Leadership Journey

by Madonna

In the vibrant world of the Hawkeye Marching Band (HMB), Christian Frankl, a fifth-year University of Iowa student, stands out as a passionate musician and leader. From his early days as an alto saxophone player in the band, Frankl harbored a vision of taking on a leadership role. This dream materialized three years later when he successfully secured the position of drum major after a rigorous audition process.

The audition, comprising interviews, fundamental teaching sessions, and physical displays, including the traditional drum major run-on and mace spinning routines, proved to be a challenging yet ultimately rewarding experience for Frankl. Graduating from the University of Iowa, he concludes his two-year tenure as the HMB drum major.

Reflecting on his time in this pivotal role, Frankl expressed satisfaction in both leading nearly 300 marching band members and being the primary performer. Whether clad in his detailed white or black uniform, Frankl ensured the band was ready for success on every game day at Kinnick Stadium.

His confidence in the role grew after the first year of performing in front of large crowds during football season. Frankl found fulfillment in expressing himself and enhancing his leadership skills, acknowledging the impact of those around him.

“I’m going to miss the people that have shaped my life, whether that’s my friends, people in the band, professors, or mentors I’ve met along the way,” shared Frankl, emphasizing the familial bond formed during his time in the marching band.

For Frankl, the HMB represents more than just a musical ensemble; it’s a community he takes pride in being a part of. As he approaches his final performance at the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl on New Year’s Day, alongside the University of Tennessee’s Pride of the Southland Band, Frankl looks forward to showcasing their full halftime shows. The excitement is heightened by the bowl’s reversal of its decision to curtail the bands’ performance times after adding singer and songwriter Gavin DeGraw to the lineup.

The news of the Citrus Bowl invitation brought enthusiasm during the drive back to Iowa City after the Big Ten Championship game in Indianapolis, according to Frankl. He expresses admiration for the Pride of the Southland Marching Band, acknowledging their tremendous talent and storied history.

For aspiring drum majors, Frankl offers valuable advice based on his HMB journey: “Don’t be afraid to fail. Try new things, be vulnerable, and give it your best. Even if you don’t succeed, it doesn’t really matter; sometimes the attempt is the most important thing.” Frankl’s journey with the HMB serves as an inspiration for those who aim to follow in his footsteps, embracing challenges and cherishing the camaraderie that defines the marching band experience.

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