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 did this last year for the site and wanted to pick it back up this year.
Today we put the spotlight on Sophomore Alto Saxophone player Gillian Jinkins.
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?
I joined band in junior high. Our school was incredibly tiny, and next door to our music class was our band hall a.k.a a glorified portable classroom. Each day I listened to the band practicing and fell more in love with it every day. All of my older friends were in band, and I knew I wanted to be join them.
What musicians have had the biggest influence on you?
One of the biggest musicians who had an effect on my life was my Beginner Band director, Mr. Robert Conway. Mr. Conway sparked a lifelong love of music and its creation into my 11 year old heart. His ability to make the saxophone sing called me to pick up the saxophone and practice in his likeness.
What is your favorite memory of being a member of the Famous Maroon Band?
My favorite memory of band at State was this past year when we went to St. Petersburg Fl. for a Bowl game no one expected us to go to. It was a hard decision for me to have my first Christmas without my family, but I knew it was what I wanted to do. I ended up rooming with 2 of my best friends in the “Sax Pak”, and we decorated our hotel room with tulle and Christmas decorations. Waking up on Christmas morning the entire FMB gathered for breakfast, and to our surprise the band had provided stockings filled with gifts for us that were donated from the community of Starkville and the band itself. That’s when I realized I’d never left my family in the first place.
What is your favorite non-band related memory at Mississippi State?
I’m terrible at ping-pong, but it undeniably caused my greatest memories at Dear Old State. I lived in Cresswell, and had never played the game before, but for whatever reason the old weathered ping-pong table called my name every time I walked by. My friends and I one night rented the paddles and a ball from the desk, and tried playing. We were awful, but the next time we played another friend joined us, who brought her immense skill and taught us the game. We would play for hours, laughing and hitting off a column and making our own rules. Ultimately we created “Pong Unlimited: EXTREME EDITION”. Soon more and more people from Cresswell ended up playing with us all through the night and into the morning to watch the sunrise. We played mini-games between classes coordinated through a group chat, and I still never got any better. But playing around the table while one of my friends would tickle the ivories and the whole hearted comradery of being surrounded by best friends is the best thing anyone can get out of college.
If you would like to keep up with Gillian, she has two social media accounts you can follow her on. Her Instagram handle is @gillybean_unlimited and he snapchat username is gkj299913.
Thanks to Gillianfor allowing us to feature her 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.