Senior music major makes history as UTSA's first head drum major
Alana Urbano, the UTSA marching band’s first head
drum major, was the last drum major at her high
school, South San Antonio High School West Campus,
before it closed in 2008. She
loves the symmetry.
“It’s so neat that I was able to close out that
history and begin this new one at UTSA,” said the
senior music major.
“It’s really exciting to get those feelings back,
that passion, that gung-ho attitude about marching
band and having music and football, those
two things together–my favorites. It’s unbelievably
awesome that this is happening.”
Urbano, who plays the flute and comes from
a long line of musicians, is one of three drum majors
selected this year. She said their role is “pretty
“From an audience perspective, you go out
there and you’re the conductor of the band,” she
said. “You conduct them and you [mark] time so
that everybody is on time with each other, left
foot, right foot; everybody follows your hands. That’s what everybody
But behind the scenes, she added, the drum majors represent
and advocate for the band.
Urbano said her career plans include music composition.
“So basically, I’m aspiring to be somebody like Beethoven
or Mozart,” she said. “I plan to write music for video games
or movies, but it’s really hard. It’s all about networking. When
you’re a composition major you’ve got to know you can’t just
do one thing. You’ve got to be a jack-of-all-trades. You have
to be able to write for high school, middle
school, marching bands, jingles, pretty much
“It’s about finding your niche, where you
want to start. It’s like being an entrepreneur, almost.”
Urbano also plans on getting a master’s in
music immediately after receiving her bachelor’s.
But for now, her attention is on band and
“It’s going to be a crazy mix of emotions
marching out at the Alamodome,” Urbano said.
“I’m going to be so excited because this is what
I’ve been waiting for, to walk out there and show
UTSA what we have as far as a music department,
as a new marching band. It’s just going to
be so incredibly exciting. And I’ll also be a little
scared because it will be the first time. It’s going
to be a whole new game, a whole new world.”
—Joe Michael Feist