Meet Music City’s 2018 drum majors

Music City will be led on the field in 2018 by a trio of drum majors with years of experience with the corps. Veteran majors Jeremiah Wooten and Scott Smith are returning to their roles and will be joined by former horn line member Patrick Nelsen.

Head drum major Wooten ages out following the 2018 season, his fourth year leading the corps.

“I’m really looking forward to the bigger events we’ll be performing at this season,” he said. “There’s a huge step up in the caliber of shows where we’ll perform as a world-class corps, including shows like Orlando, St. Louis, San Antonio, Atlanta and Allentown.”

The primary public-facing role for the drum majors is conducting the ensemble during rehearsals and performances, but Wooten, from Franklin, Tenn. and a junior computer science major at the University of Missouri, also serves as a liaison helping with communication between the performing members and the instructional and administrative staffs.

“Drum corps has taught me a lot about facing adversity. It’s not an easy activity and can be stressful and overwhelming physically and mentally,” he said. “But it also provides you with 153 other people who understand what you’re going through and can help you push past what you thought were your limits.”

Assistant Scott Smith will also age out following the 2018 season, his second as a drum major with Music City.

“It’s definitely special to age out during the corps’ tenth anniversary year and the year we moved to DCI World Class,” Smith said. “The show is really going to blow people away and keep them on the edge of their seats.

“There’s nothing better than being in front of your corps and hearing them give you everything they’ve got,” the Clarksville, Tenn. native said. “I wish I had more years to march drum corps. I will miss being one of Music City’s drum majors.”

Music City’s newest drum major, Patrick Nelsen, is actually the most senior corps member of the three. He marched 2014 and 2015 on euphonium, and was baritone section leader in 2016 and 2017.

“At Music City, we’ve always emphasized that we’re a family. We really focus on making every member feel welcome, and it’s made Music City really become a home to me,” Nelsen, a first-year computer engineering major at Mississippi State University said. “Other corps may have higher scores to the judges, but they don’t have my closest friends in the world, so they all score much lower to me.”

Nelsen said his new vantage point in front of the corps has given him a greater appreciation for the activity.

“During our performance this past camp the horn line played the corps song and I sat in the stands and listened. After the horn line finished, an elderly lady turned to me and told me it had caused her to cry,” he said. “At the end of the day, this is why 154 people willingly exhaust themselves all summer. It’s for the emotional connection with the audience. To the rest of the room, it may have been a jumble of random notes, but to this one woman, it meant everything, and that makes it all worth it.”