Jack Frisbie was named the 59th drum major in the Blue Band’s history Sunday evening after a three-day process. Frisbie competed with five other prospects, but was ultimately chosen as his brother Jimmy’s successor after his excellent audition.
Jack, who will be a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering in the fall, was the drum major of Wilson Memorial High School’s band his senior year. During his first year in the Blue Band, he served as a trombone player. His parents met in the Blue Band and his grandfather was the president of the Blue Band back in 1960.
As drum major, Jack will step into the Blue Band Officer Executive Board, conduct football games, and serve as a liason between the band and university administration. To find out more about Penn State’s newest drum major, we sat down for 10 Questions with Jack:
Onward State: How did you find out you got the position of drum major?
Jack Frisbie: Last Sunday, after everyone finished their audition, the directors got together while we sat inside Holuba Hall. After what seemed like forever, the directors came over and told us that everyone did a great job, and that I was going to be the next drum major! I was definitely in shock when they said my name, but now I’m beyond excited to begin working towards a great next season!
OS: Have you mastered “the flip” yet?
JF: The flip is something that I can always make better. I began to learn the flip during the fall last football season, and somehow I landed my first one outside! Since then, I’ve been working on my technique and trying to become as consistent as possible. I know I’ll be practicing many more flips this summer!
OS: What is your favorite part of being in the Blue Band?
JF: One of the best things about Blue Band is how close the members are. We always talk about how we are one #bluebandfamily, and the friendships formed during the season are irreplaceable. I also love how the Blue Band gives its members the opportunity to travel around the country and perform at so many different venues.
OS: Does the Blue Band have anything planned yet for the first fall football game?
JF: The first football game will be here before we know it, and the Blue Band will be right there to kick it off with a pregame performance including some great music, twirling, and drum major Flips! Once we find out who all the new rookies are going to be, we will also begin practicing a halftime and post show performance.
OS: What are your plans for the Blue-White game?
JF: For the Blue-White Game, I will have my first chance to conduct a few pieces in the stands and practice for the upcoming fall. There is no traditional pregame show for the Blue-White Game, but we plan on being the pump up soundtrack for the football team in-between plays. We also will be holding an alumni tailgate and participate in the football team walk.
OS: What would your dream half-time show include?
JF: I love everything outer space related. If we did a show that included classics like “Jupiter,” “Star Wars,” and Elton John’s “Rocket Man,” my inner nerd would be satisfied. Maybe we could incorporate a few lightsaber battles into the show! Now that would be entertaining!
OS: The Blue Band certainly seems to run in your family. How does it feel to hold up the legacy?
JF: I didn’t feel like I was holding up any legacy when I decided to try out. I knew I had a love for the Blue Band and wanted to give back to the organization that has shaped so much of my time here at Penn State. Looking to give back in this capacity just felt natural for me, and from that point forward I dedicated myself to prepare for the audition.
OS: What is your favorite song to play with the Blue Band during half-time shows?
JF: As a trombone player, playing the “1812 Overture” was my favorite song from halftime. If you listen closely during our Big Ten Championship performance, the trombone section blasts out the melody towards the end of the song. People loved how loud we could get!
OS: What is a really difficult aspect of Blue Band that typical students may not be aware of?
JF: One difficult, but totally worthwhile, part about Blue Band is how much we practice. Like other sport teams, we have practices almost every day of the week. Sometimes, we don’t finish up until after 10 p.m. Even though the practices can be a lot of work, we also have a lot of fun making great music with friends. On game days, our hard work really shines through with the great performances people see throughout the day!
OS: If you could be a dinosaur, which would you be and why?
JF: If I could be a dinosaur, I would be a triceratops. Those three horns just look awesome!