The LSU Tiger Marching Band announced music education senior Beau Bujol as the band’s new drum major at an annual banquet following the 2018 Citrus Bowl presented by Overton’s on Jan. 1.
Drum majors typically serve as the head of the marching band, but the drum major of the Tiger Band carries more responsibilities.
“You pretty much act as the spokesperson of the band,” Bujol said. “You’re the guy in white, everyone knows who you are. It’s your role not only to lead Tiger Band on and off the field, but to be representative of the music department, specifically the band. You pretty much act as the head of the organization.”
Every year, the Tiger Band administration holds a rigorous audition process to select the new drum major.
“There’s a whole audition process,” Bujol said. "It actually takes a whole week, with multiple rounds and cuts after each round. It’s a pretty intense process.”
Bujol is replacing the former drum major, Daniel Wendt, who served as drum major for three consecutive years. Bujol said Wendt had to go through the audition process before all three years, and that his extensive experience leading the band will make him a resource for Bujol.
“He did a fantastic job with the position,” Bujol said. “Going in, I’m going to look to him for advice. I definitely have big shoes to fill, but I’m up for the challenge.”
During his time in Tiger Band, Wendt co-founded Tonal Innovation, LLC. According to the company’s website, its mission is to bridge the gap between music and technology. The company offers both a device to mount a smartphone to an instrument and an app to use sheet music on a smartphone.
The idea for the company started at a Tiger Band practice. According to Wendt, the co-founder of the company, Garrett Kessling, was having trouble reading sheet music because of a faulty copier and decided to look at the sheet music on his phone instead.
Wendt also emphasized the importance of the drum major position. He said it is the drum major’s job to teach the band’s section leaders how to teach the members of the band to march and play in the Tiger Band style.
“There’s a lot of tradition with the position,” Wendt said. “Over the next semester we will meet and go over some of those things. Ultimately, it falls on the drum major to either successfully or unsuccessfully teach the teachers how to teach.”