Announcement, People,

Who was the first female drum major of a college marching band?

Katy Boggs

PHOTO ABOVE: Minuteman Band drum major Katy Boggs (2014).

We want to know!

UMass proudly named our first in 1979, Linda (Paul) Hannum, who served as co-DM that year. In 1980, she went solo as the band’s only drum major.

Comment below with your school, the name of your first female drum major, and the years she served.


Lori Watson

December 31, 2019

Shouldn’t Linda Paul Hannum’s picture be shown? Maybe split screen with Katy Boggs. Unless you click on picture, the caption is misleading.



January 20, 2020

Believe it or not, even Linda has a tough time coming with a good photo. Particularly or folks who know neither Linda nor Katy, the image is a good representation of the LONG HISTORY the UMMB has with women leaders 🙂

Linda Saunders

June 7, 2020

Actually my mother Eleanor Lee Priest was the first female Drum Major for Miami University of Ohio Marching Band in from 1948 to 1950. She turned down a music scholarship to Ohio State because at that time the band was all male. After my mother’s audition at Miami they welcomed her with open arms! She also went on to be a National Collegiate Twirling Champion.


Christian Tordahl

February 5, 2021

Bucknell University holds the distinction. Bernice Henry Rathmell was the first female drum major at a major university in the United States. She graduated Bucknell University in 1939.


Dave Adams

March 8, 2021

Debbie Souter was the drum major of the University of Illinois Marching Illini in 1977. I believe she was the first female DM in the Big Ten.


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