Grambling State University Names a Female Drum Major

By: Tadi Abedje

Recently, Grambling State University made an announcement in regard to their World Famed Tiger Band. They have chosen three students – Deante Gibson, Sheavion Jones and Candace Hawthorne  to be part of the marching band.  

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According to HBCU Gameday, Gibson is a senior, who is a marketing/management major from Jeanerette, Louisiana; Jones is a junior from Dallas, Texas, who is majoring in marketing; and Hawthorne is entering her senior year as an engineering technology and music major, who is also a Dallas native. 

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Dr. Nikole Roebuck has been Grambling State’s director of bands since 2019 and is the first female band director in the school’s history. She is looking forward to this season for the World Famed Tiger Band. 

“Last year was very different not being able to have a season so it feels good to be back,” Roebuck said in a statement on the GSU website. “We have a new set of drum majors this season who are very eager to show what they are made of.” 

For Candace Hawthorne, she will be the first woman drum major since Velma Patricia Patterson in 1952. 

“It’s extremely mind-blowing,” she said to the Associated Press. “I never would have expected for me to make history like this.” 

Getting the opportunity to be drum majors is an honor for Deante Gibson, Sheavion Jones and Candace Hawthorne. Gibson will take the responsibility of being a leader and motivator. 

“As head drum, I know I have a lot of eyes on me,” he said on WAFB9. “And those eyes are pushing me to encourage my fellow bandsmen to push themselves to the greatest potential, give 110 percent and give the people what they like: a show-stopping performance.” 

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