Congratulations to Orange High School graduate Russell King '11 who was named one of three drum majors for next year's University of Notre Dame Band of the Fighting Irish!
Leading the band before more than 80-thousand Irish fans, Russell will don the revered white uniform through the 2014 season. Chosen from three dozen applicants all with stellar credentials, Russell came to the position with both a strong music and leadership background from Orange where he was a member of the band and swim team. The University of Notre Dame Band of the Fighting Irish includes 380 instrumentalists who will follow Russell across the field at pre-game and half-time performances, as well as at pep rallies and other service events.
"My job is to get the best out of the band so that we can shine on game day," noted King.
The band was the recipient of the 2011 Sudler Trophy which is presented by the John Philip Sousa Foundation and recognizes the top collegiate marching bands in the country that "have made outstanding contributions to the American way of life." The award is considered the "Heisman Trophy for college bands".
Russell has played clarinet since fifth grade at Moreland Hills Elementary School He was Vice President of the Orange High School Marching Lions and also played piano in the OHS Jazz Band. A three-year member of the Notre Dame band, Russell is completing his term as Secretary while also serving in the role of drum major.
But that's not all that is keeping him busy. A double major in Science and Business and Economics, Russell is also taking pre-med classes. Amidst all of this, Russell still found time to audition for this coveted position in a process that spanned a few months and multiple rounds. It included a marching and conducting audition in front of the directors, an essay, and an interview. Russell also conducted the entire band whose members then voiced their opinion by vote.
Russell said he especially looks forward to sharing the field in the fall with his sister Katelyn '13 who plays trumpet in the marching band at Notre Dame. Russell and Katelyn are the children of Judy ('71) and Reed King of Pepper Pike.
"We work hard to live out our motto, 'Tradition, Excellence, and Family', said Russell. "Next year will be exciting, and I can't wait to step out on the field for the first time in my new all-white drum major uniform, leading the band!"
Editor's note: Russell has agreed to document some of his experiences for the Orange Schools website when he first takes the field as drum major in the fall. We will look forward to hearing from him then! Congratulations again, Russell!