Marching on: Senior drum major leads EMU marching band for third year

Adam Sniezek excited about future career in music education

by Linda Hass, Published September 11, 2013

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Adam Sniezek, a senior drum major for Eastern Michigan University’s 200-member Marching Band, is as passionate about leading the band as he is about teaching music—providing a winning combination for football fans and future students alike.

“There a certain excitement I feel when the football season begins—the echo of the horns, the flair of the color guard and the rhythm of the drum line on a crisp fall day. They’re an integral part of Eastern’s tradition and I’m proud to be a part of it,” says Sniezek, who has been and EMU drum major for three years.

Sniezek, who is on track to earn his bachelor’s degree in music education in April 2014, says the idea that he’ll soon be teaching music is exciting. His primary instrument is the saxophone, but as a future K-12 music educator, he is able to play and teach several instruments.

“I’ve taught at several band camps during summers. Each time that I see growth in my students, I realize this is exactly what I want to do for my career.”

Although he’s eager to see what awaits him in the future, Sniezek’s excitement is tempered by the realization that this is his final season leading the charge as the guy in the tall white hat with the green plume. Drum majors are the highest-ranking student positions in the marching band and serve as liaisons between the director and band. Their duties include leading cheers in the stands, leading the band through performances and rehearsals and conducting pre-game and halftime performances.

 “It’s a thrill to lead the marching band. It’s sad to think this will be my last homecoming, last pep rally—last everything,” says Sniezek. “But I will always cherish the experiences I’ve had.”

Amy Knopps, associate director of Bands and director of the EMU Marching Band, says Sniezek’s passion for music and his pride in Eastern are inspirational.

“He’s one of the first students to come to rehearsal, one of the last to leave, and he’s always willing to put in extra effort to make sure that everyone is having a positive experience,” she says.

Sniezek also served as drum major for two years at Crestwood High School in Dearborn Heights, Mich. In fact, Crestwood introduced Sniezek to Eastern when it hosted a band clinic.

“I really enjoyed working with EMU students and [now retired] Professor Max Plank. I could see that Eastern’s program had a lot to offer,” says Sniezek, who became a dedicated Eagle from that day on.

“Attending Eastern was a great decision,” adds Sniezek. “Students get to know each other and faculty on a personal basis. In fact, we spend so much time together that we’ve become one collective family.”

Learn more about the EMU Band program at

Geoff Larcom


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