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Urbandale grad named Iowa State University marching band drum major 

Posted December 20, 2016 in Web Exclusives, Urbandale

briancarrier_2017isumarchingbanddrummajorIn addition to Urbandale High School (UHS) receiving recognition for its award-winning Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) programs, developing custom-designed, research-based student leadership programs and boasting a 99 percent graduation rate — one of the highest in the country — it now has another reason to celebrate: UHS alumnus Brian Carrier, Class of 2014, was selected as a 2017 Drum Major for the Iowa State University Cyclone Marching Band. As a drum major, Carrier will conduct the 350 members of the Cyclone Marching Band, instruct students in proper marching and playing technique and serve as an ambassador for Cyclone Nation.

The junior in Mechanical Engineering was selected from a pool of candidates by Iowa State Band Directors and members of the Cyclone Marching Band based on his conducting and teaching abilities. Prior to being selected as a drum major, Carrier played sousaphone for three years in the Cyclone Marching Band and participated in the Symphonic Band, Men’s Basketball Pep Band and Women’s Basketball Pep Band at Iowa State University. Additionally, Carrier is the President of Tau Beta Sigma, a collegiate band service organization. While attending UHS, Carrier played tuba and sousaphone for four years in the J-Hawk Bands.

“The Urbandale Band Directors have done an excellent job of teaching a generation of young musicians, myself included,” said Carrier. “My time in the J-Hawk Bands prepared me for the rigors of a college marching band and helped me become the leader that I am today.”

In addition to his rigorous academic schedule within the College of Engineering, Carrier will lead the Cyclone Marching Band during five practices a week in preparation for performing at each home football game, performing for tailgaters around the stadium, providing a preview of the band’s halftime show at the Alumni Center, parading to the stadium, marching on the field for pre-game and halftime shows and special exhibitions throughout the year. However, the responsibilities of a college drum major go beyond simply conducting the band. During band camp, Carrier will be one of the primary instructors tasked with teaching marching band fundamentals to both new and experienced members. Drum Majors are called upon to be positive leadership examples for the entire band and are the band’s principal representatives.

“Brian has a terrific success story — from nearly dropping band as a 14-year old freshman, to persevering through many challenges, to being an All-State tubist his senior year and now being selected as a drum major for the Iowa State University Cyclone Marching Band — truly a tale of having the tenacity to overcome setbacks and believe in yourself in order to achieve a remarkable honor such as this,” said UHS Director of Bands Myron Peterson. “We’re confident he’ll represent ISU, Urbandale, his family and himself with pinnacle leadership and character through this highly visible leadership role. We hope his story can inspire students to push through the tough moments and find the rewards that so often lie just over the crest of the next hill.”

The Urbandale Community School District congratulates Carrier for earning this notable honor of being selected as a drum major for the Iowa State University Marching Band. By having experienced setbacks and building the capacity for overcoming adversity, he not only positions himself as a highly talented member of the band but also a trusted leader, mentor and friend — all of which will serve him well at Iowa State and beyond.

About Urbandale Community School District 

The Urbandale Community School District includes portions of Des Moines and Urbandale, Iowa. The District serves over 3,900 students in six elementary schools, one middle school and one comprehensive high school. The Urbandale District supports an increasingly diverse student population where 47 languages are spoken. Building on the existing foundation of excellence in education, Urbandale is transforming education throughout the District. By implementing innovative Quality/Continual Improvement strategies that create learning environments that more fully engage, challenge and motivate students, Urbandale is taking transformation from theory into practice. Urbandale prepares students for becoming lifelong learners and is a school district that brings learning to life for everyone. To learn more, visit: and follow on Twitter @UrbandaleSchool.

Urbandale Community School District

11152 Aurora Avenue

Urbandale, IA 50322


Dena Soenke

Communications Partner, UCSD (515) 868-1879

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