One of the great things about college football game day at any school is the atmosphere. And one of the most important parts, and often under appreciated, is the band.
I was in the band in high school and spent two years paying for my education in the band at Northwest Community College before finishing up at Mississippi State. So I decided to put the spotlight on the Famous Maroon Band this summer.
I had been doing this when I was still writing for Maroon and White Nation. Now that I am here at FWtCT, I decided to pick up where I left off.
Today we put the spotlight on junior Snare Drummer Ethan Lewis. Ethan also played guitar in his high school jazz band and for his local church youth group before starting college.
In all likelihood, you joined the band in middle school or junior high. What made you want to be in the band at that time?
In all honesty, I thought I was going to learn how to play a drum set when signing up for percussion in the 6th grade. I wasn’t introduced to the drumline until school actually started. The 8th grade drumline would go to every class along with the school administration once every four weeks to give rewards to students with good grades. It was then that I discovered the world of drumline and I was hooked.
What musicians have had the biggest influence on you?
In high school I was introduced to DCI (Drum Corps International) and it blew my mind. I am particularly interested in the Cavaliers. It’s amazing to see such young, talented musicians playing with such a high skill level. It inspired me to push myself as a musician to get better so I could one day play with such skill.
My drum instructors from middle school, high school and college, Paul Heindl, Patrick O’Donovan and Dr. Jason Baker, have probably had the greatest influence on me. They pushed me to my limits and challenged me as a musician.
I’m always learning something new from my fellow drumline members. We share ideas on how to practice and challenge each other musically.
The Famous Maroon Band staff have given me so many opportunities to thrive in their band program. When I didn’t make the drumline my Freshman year they encouraged me to come back to audition for the concert bands and to also audition for the next year’s drumline. Despite marching that year, they let play in the Basketball Pep-band. And even when I didn’t make the drumline the next year they gave me the position of a band manager so I could stay in the program. I wouldn’t be marching this year without their continuous encouragement.
What is your favorite memory of being in the band at Mississippi State?
My favorite band memory would have to be when we traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina for the Belk Bowl. It was my first time traveling to a big city and traveling with the band made it so much better.
What is your favorite non-band related memory at Mississippi State?
There’s nothing better than good company. I have spent countless nights hanging out with friends in dorms/apartments whether we were playing card/video games or watching a movie. Those memories will always be priceless.
If you would like to keep up with Ethan, you can do so on Instagram. His handle there is @drumfreak4414.
Thanks to Ethan for allowing us to feature him in this Famous Maroon Band Profile. Also thanks to Dr. Craig Aarhus, one of the Associate Directors of the Famous Maroon Band for working with us to be able to spotlight the members of the band.
You can follow the Famous Maroon Band on Twitter with their Twitter handle @maroonband. The band also has a Facebook page you can go and like to keep up with all the happenings of the Famous Maroon Band.