My name is Frank Loomis and I am a 2010 graduate of Manistee High School. I grew up in Manistee, graduating 5th in my class from Manistee High School with a 3.99 GPA. I played a variety of varsity sports, was a member of the National Honors Society and performed in the concert and marching bands as a trumpet player. Throughout my life I have been avidly drawn to music and science in school, and while pursuing my degrees in Human Biology and Neuroscience in the Lyman Briggs College of Science at Michigan State University, I have always kept music close. Being a member of the Spartan Marching Band has given me this opportunity, as well as becoming a fundamental aspect of my experience as a student at MSU. I can say wholeheartedly my academics would not be the same without my involvement in such an amazing ensemble and the presence of music throughout my life.
In the Spartan Marching Band this past season, I was lucky enough to be selected as the newest drum major from a talented group of individuals who auditioned in May. After being in the band for two years as a trumpet player, I made the decision to audition for drum major because of my devotion to the ensemble and longing to provide all I could to the band. The two-month training process ended on May 16th with the official audition in front of past drum majors, the director, assistant director and field coordinators for the band. I cannot begin to express my excitement on May 22nd when it was announced I won. This role has completely defined my experience at MSU and has given me the opportunity to be a leader in a way I could have never imagined, forever changing my life. The devotion and gratitude I have to this ensemble, the director John T. Madden, assistant director Dr. Cormac Cannon, the field coordinator Glen Brough and each and every member of the band I will never be able to fully express.
My role as drum major encompasses a range of responsibilities in order to lead the entirety of the 300-member band in the best and most efficient way possible. A military style band, the SMB is run under a strict set of expectations with a strong and defined leadership structure that provides unmatched rehearsal efficiency. My duties include a number of commands (such as calling the band to attention, parade rest, ect), starting and dismissing every rehearsal, running parade marches, and blowing whistles to initiate tempos for any given song among a number of other tasks. The drum majors along with the elected positions of band president and vice president also make up the executive staff of the band that oversee all levels of command throughout the band including section leaders, squad leaders and all other members, while working closely with the director. The executive officers also hold the distinguished responsibility to lead and teach every freshman class during our preseason in August, teaching them about the university and the band, initiating them into the program. This year being my first year as drum major, I was taught all of these things and owe a great deal to my drum major partner and best friend Xavier Boudreaux. He will be graduating this year and going on to graduate school for music performance in flute, leaving me to be the only drum major for the 2013-2014 season. Following next year I will lead the audition training process for all new candidates and for my 3rd and final year as drum major, will be training another individual to take my place.
My interest in music and its influence on my life started when I was very young but was not until 5th grade at Kennedy Elementary that it truly started. My gratitude can never be expressed enough when I say how much I truly value and appreciate the music program I was apart of for 8 years under the exceptional direction of Cynthia Swan-Eagan. Her inspiring leadership and professionalism continue to influence me today as well as recalling continual memories of her teaching strategy that encouraged not only musical growth but also personal betterment. For me, music has always been about its influence on others and its incomparable effect on my own growth and success and she taught me this better than anyone.
After graduating from MSU I plan on attending medical school and to one day become a pediatrician. While my career choices don’t personally reflect my devotions to music I know its influence will continue throughout my life, always reflecting on my roots in Manistee. I also am truly grateful for many of the teachers I had the privilege to meet and learn from at MHS, many of which having significant influence on my career path in the sciences.