The band marches out on the field at halftime as fans wait in anticipation. Hannah Harvey takes her place atop the drum major’s podium and looks to the center drum major for her cue. Her hands begin floating through the air in identical formation with the other two drum majors. The modest chimes that begin in the percussion section gradually flourish as other sections of the 200-member band join in.
Staying in sync visually is the key to keeping the band in time, Harvey said. With a band as large as the Horned Frog Marching Band, it’s easy for a section to lose tempo.
“A lot of people think that all eyes are on the drum major during a performance, but that’s not really true,” she said. “I know that probably 60 percent of the band isn’t looking at me at all, but when they get in trouble, we’re there.”
Harvey said performing during halftime has been much better this year because more people have been coming to games and staying for the entire game.
“More and more people have been staying for the halftime show, which is really nice,” she said.
Music has always been a part of Harvey’s life.
“My earliest memory is when I was sitting at one of those dinosaur pianos,” she said. “My older cousin would play a melody and then move aside, and I could just play it back to him. My parents were just floored that I could just hear it once and play it back.”
She began playing flute in sixth grade and performed and conducted in her high school marching band.
Harvey taught herself to play French horn after high school so she could march horn in TCU’s band. She also plays saxophone and oboe.
Now in her senior year, Harvey has the role of drum major. But it’s not just being front and center that she’s proud of, it’s the behind the scenes work, preparing the band for every aspect of performance including song selection, rehearsal and even printing music sheets.
Harvey auditioned for drum major twice before being named to the position. Brian Youngblood, director of the marching band, said it’s her tenacious attitude and personal drive that makes Harvey such a strong leader among her fellow band members.
“She’s a great team member, and any individual that can lead by example like she does is a great leader,” he said. “Where she shines is that she is willing to do any aspect of leadership.”
Youngblood also said he thought many of the younger members of the band saw Harvey as a role model and that any student could learn a lot from her dedication.
Harvey said she planed to teach music and band after graduation. This semester, Harvey teaches music at Alice Carlson Applied Learning Center through one of her education classes.
“Teaching is so much my passion,” Harvey said. “I just get such a rush from seeing [students] react from the lesson we’re teaching and get excited about music.”
One thing Harvey said she hopes to teach her future students is to appreciate the emotional aspect of music. Harvey said music has always been a way to express herself emotionally.
“When I play flute, I’m like feeling the music,” Harvey said. “What I’m playing, what’s coming out of my horn right now is a part of me communicating with someone else.”
Harvey will perform flute in her senior recital Sunday.
Student Recital Series: Hannah Harvey, flute
When: 1 p.m. Sunday
Where: PepsiCo Recital Hall