Grambling State University names first female drum major in nearly 70 years


GRAMBLING, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Grambling State University has announced its first female drum major in nearly 70 years.

“I’ve always wanted to be a part of this band,” said senior Candace Hawthorne, a double major studying engineering technology and music.

Gibson, a native of Dallas, Texas, is one of the three students named as drum majors Thursday for the upcoming season. Grambling says Hawthorne will be the second female drum major to grace the field since Patricia Patterson took on the role and served through 1952.

Also setting the tempo this season will be Jeanerette, Louisiana native senior marketing/management major Deante Gibson as head drum major and junior marketing major Sheavion Jones, who is also from Dallas.

Landing a spot as a drum major in the World Famed Tiger Marching Band is an honor and a serious responsibility for any student, and Hawthorne says she is still in shock over her selection.

“It doesn’t seem real but it’s like, I work really hard trying to become a drum major and it’s finally here. It’s just like the whole everything just stopped and I’m trying to process it all cause it all happened so quickly.”

She’s also working on her projection in preparation for the upcoming season.

“I’m a very soft-spoken person, so they say I kind of have to project even more, ’cause the band barely hear me now. So I’ve been working on speaking louder and being more confident in front of the band.”

But, she says she and “The Best Band in the Land” will be ready.

“We coming with that heat, coming with that pressure.”

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