CSU Marching Band announces drum majors for Fall 2021

Fall 2021 Drum Majors: Kathryn Kennedy from Fruita Monument High School, and Katie St. Gemme-Pate from Legend High School

The Colorado State University Marching Band announces the drum majors for the 2021 season. In the coveted role, Fruita Monument High School alum Kathryn Kennedy and Legend High School alum Katie St. Gemme-Pate will conduct the 250-member band during rehearsals and performances, while serving as school ambassadors for the largest student organization at CSU.

Membership in the 250-person marching band is open to all CSU students, regardless of their major. 85% of the band’s members are not music majors and represent every academic discipline at CSU. The band represents the State of Colorado by performing for more than a million spectators annually, including at football games, the CSU Homecoming parade and other campus events, the Denver/9News Parade of Lights, the Colorado Bandmasters Association Regional/State Festivals, Denver Broncos games, and NCAA football bowl games throughout the United States.

The two music education majors were selected as the 2021 drum majors by the CSU Marching Band directors based on their successful interviews, conducting demonstrations, and input from the peer leadership team.

“The drum major position is one of the most visible and important in the CSU Marching Band,” explained Kevin Poelking, interim assistant director of bands. “These students demonstrate excellent musical ability, leadership, and professionalism. They often represent the student voice of this wonderful organization, while working with the staff and their fellow members to create an amazing experience for Ram fans everywhere!”

About Kathryn Kennedy

marching band studentKathryn Kennedy is a third-year CSU Marching Band member and served as drum major during the 2020 season. She plays flute in the CSU Symphonic Band, Flute Choir, and several chamber music ensembles. A member of the Fruita Monument High School Marching Band in Grand Junction Colorado, under the direction of Ryan Crabtree, Kennedy also served as drum major during her junior and senior years.

Kennedy’s positive high school marching experience inspired her to join band in college. “I learned so much about leadership, teamwork, compassion, and commitment that I have applied that to my experience in college marching band,” she said.

Kennedy is an Honors Program student at CSU and a recipient of the Colorado Bandmasters Association J.L. Gerardi Scholarship, the Gary Ambrosier Centennial Band Scholarship, CSU Honors Scholarship, CSU Music Scholarship, and the CSU Green and Gold Scholarship. She is a student member of both the National Association for Music Education (CNAfME) and Colorado Bandmasters Association (CBA).

About Katie St. Gemme-Pate

marching band studentPrior to becoming a drum major, Katie St. Gemme-Pate played clarinet in the CSU Marching Band for three years; as a music major, she has been a member of the Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, many chamber music ensembles, and has taught within CSU’s Middle School Outreach Ensembles program. She’s received scholarships for being in the Basketball Pep Band, the Presidential Pep Band, as well as the marching band.

St. Gemme-Pate played clarinet throughout high school in the Legend High School “Titan Marching Band” in Parker, Colorado, under the direction of Mr. Orlando Otis. She credits the time spent as a section leader for developing leadership skills and preparing her both musically and physically for marching in college. “I am very thankful for that experience and for everyone who is a part of the Legend High School band family,” she said.

Building community

Drum major duties start in earnest in mid-August when CSU Marching Band members arrive on campus for band camp.

While teaching marching fundamentals and conducting the band will be daily activities, St. Gemme-Pate and Kennedy are looking forward to building connections with incoming members throughout the week. “Band camp is a really important time for us to build community and show new members what it means to be a part of the CSUMB,” said Kennedy, adding that as a freshman at band camp, she immediately felt surrounded by caring, dedicated people.

For St. Gemme-Pate, passing down the organization’s traditions is a major impact that drum majors have historically had. “One of the main goals that I have for the ensemble is rebuilding the community and traditions that we had before COVID, and bringing this excitement to the football games and other events,” she said.

“As a band member, I am a part of something that is bigger than myself” said Kennedy about the opportunity to represent CSU. “This community has brought me so much joy…I hope to leave a positive impact on this program in return.”

We are incredibly proud to have Katie St. Gemme-Pate and Kathryn Kennedy serving in this role this coming year,” said Poelking.