Former Liberty County high School student Jeremy Fermin enjoyed his days on the Panthers' marching band, but said his biggest thrill came from being chosen as one of the four University of Georgia Redcoat Marching Band drum majors for the 2010-11 football season.
A drum major is the leader of a marching band, drum and bugle corps, or pipe band.
Being named the drum major is the equivalent of being the quarterback of a football team.
"The four of us are responsible for deciding when and what to play during football games," Fermin said "So, when you hear the band play ‘Glory’ on TV, it was a drum major that started them."
Being in the limelight was thrilling, but Fermin said the process of becoming the drum major was arduous.
Fermin said he was up against 29 other candidates. They all had to go through four rounds of eliminations. In the first round, Fermin said they were interviewed and had to submit an essay.
"After that a handful were cut," Fermin said. "The rest proceeded to the second round which was conducting a recording of our choice then a recording that they provided for us."
After two more rounds the eight remaining candidates face-off during UGA’s Georgia Day Game. During this portion, the candidates first conduct and rehearse the Redcoats Band.
"The second portion is ‘calling a quarter’ in which the candidates watch the football game and decided when and what to play during the action," Fermin said. "After fourth round, the band members have an opportunity to send in comments regarding each candidate. The directors and the rest of the people on the panel meet the next couple of days then decided on the four 2010-2011 drum majors."
He said his entire band experience has been unbelievable.
"The most thrilling band moment for me in college was the first time running on to form the arch during pregame my freshman year," he said. "That rush of running on the field and playing ‘Glory’ to 92,746 screaming fans is an experience that I will never forget."
Fermin is entering his fourth year of his music education major. He is also president of Phi Mu Alpha, Sinfonia Men’s Social Music Fraternity.
"I plan to teach high school band for a few years then return get my master’s in administration," he said. "Then I plan to become a principal."