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Grambling State Univerity selects first female drum major in 70 years

Published: Aug. 20, 2021 at 11:03 PM CDT
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GRAMBLING, La. (KNOE) -Honor, dedication, and hardworking best describe Grambling State University’s world-famous Tiger Marching Band.

This season one band leader, Candice Hawthorne is paving the way for women by being named the first drum major since 1952.

“It’s really mind-blowing,” says Hawthorne. “It’s also a dream come true because I have always wanted to be a drum major.”

The first female drum major was Velma Patricia Patterson, who was a member of the band from 1951-52.

Hawthorne says her years of practice and dedication are paying off.

“I haven’t been treated differently than if I was a male, I work just as hard as they do,” says Hawthorne.

She is in good company, Deante Gibson and Sheavion Jones have also been named drum majors.

Sheavion Jones says that the band has always been taking strides towards diversity.

“The things we are doing today,” says Jones. “They were doing the same exact thing when the band started in the late 1920s.”

The GSU band has a tradition of shaking things up.

“This band has done a lot of things before our time, this band has been well known before this, so it’s weird to know, to get that feeling that we are the next ones up,” says Jones.

Get ready for these GSU drum majors who are making some noise this year.

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