Chandler Sumner-Gehrig, a senior music education major from Wauwatosa, has been named drum major for the inaugural season of the Titan Thunder Marching Band at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.
The Titan Thunder drum major will serve as the leader and chief student liaison connecting the band’s members and staff. Sumner-Gehrig will help with key components of the student experience, including preseason communication, band camp, social events, outreach and an annual banquet.
Sumner-Gehrig was drum major at Wauwatosa West High School and in 2018 and 2019 marched with the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps. While with the Dubuque, Iowa-based Colts, he traveled the country performing and competing with other world-class drum and bugle corps. He also was a member of the Bolt Band this winter.
“I hope to build a positive and inviting community around the Titan Thunder Marching Band,” Sumner-Gehrig said. “I plan to bring that positive energy to the football games and campus and community events.”
Musically, the drum major serves as the primary rehearsal and stands conductor and develops highly visible routines for on-field performance. Joe Scheivert, director of athletic bands at UW Oshkosh, said commitment to positive morale and personal integrity is vital, as the drum major represents the program and membership both on and off the field.
“Chandler brings with him years of experience,” Scheivert said. “He was comfortable and confident in all phases of the audition process, including conducting, marching and in multiple interviews. The faculty and student feedback confirmed that he is the person to lead the Titan Thunder Marching Band onto the field in its inaugural year.”
The marching band will debut Sept. 3 at the first home football game of the 2022 season. The Titans host East Texas Baptist University for the home opener at J. J. Keller Field at Titan Stadium.
Applications for students to join the Titan Thunder opened earlier this month. Students from UW Oshkosh’s three campuses are eligible. Enrollment also is open to any student enrolled at a postsecondary institution, meaning current students at Ripon College, Lawrence University, Fox Valley Technical College and beyond can join the band through a special admission process.
Open positions include piccolo, clarinet, alto and tenor saxophone, trumpet, mellophone, trombone, baritone, sousaphone, marching percussion, color guard and baton.
Those who take part in the Titan Thunder’s inaugural year will have the chance not only to make new friends, play great music and cheer on the Titans, but they’ll also be laying the foundation for the program—including developing new traditions, cheers and social events that will make the Titan Thunder exceptional for years to come.
Titan Thunder virtual information sessions are held every other Thursday in spring and summer. These Zoom meetings include audition and membership information, a chance to meet the staff and student leadership, the sharing of ideas for fall and more. Sessions are at 8 p.m. March 17 and 31, April 14 and 28, May 12 and 26, June 9 and 23, July 7 and 21, and Aug. 4 and 18.