Finance major Bailey Ryan of Lincoln takes pride in marching to the beat of her own drum. As the only female snare drummer in the UNL Drumline, she spends hours each week doing just that and has been doing so since fifth grade when she selected her first drum.
“For me, it was all about the music. I was always interested in marching, so I challenged myself every day. Most of us aren’t confident immediately when we try something new, especially if we are not surrounded by our family or best friends. However, in drumline, I’ve been able to accomplish so much because I am pushed by others,” Ryan said.
The drumline, which includes more than 20 marching drummers and 14 percussionists who play on the sidelines, have to work together in order to succeed. They spend 12 hours a week at rehearsal and meet six hours prior to kickoff on game days.
Drumline instructor Ben Coleman said the best students are those who manage themselves and develop and inner drive and desire to contribute on a daily basis.
“Bailey certainly falls under that category in every sense. In a musical world typically dominated by males, Bailey firmly bucks the trend in multiple ways. Her work ethic often sets the benchmark for others to follow–not only in physical effort but with an optimistic attitude, preparedness and constant desire for quality,” Coleman said.
Beyond the close relationships that develop in the drumline, one of the side benefits is being able to travel and participate in special events. Ryan will welcome in 2012 by performing in the Cornhusker Marching Band at the Capital One bowl game in Orlando, Fla., featuring Nebraska and South Carolina. Rayn is excited to make the trip with her friends.
"It's really nice to spend time with one another without schoolwork and other stress," she said. "We can just focus on the music, performing and having a good time with one another. The bowl trip makes all the early morning rehearsals and long hours throughout the season worth it."
During the school year, Ryan lives in the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority house and helps raise money for arthritis research through the Hungry Hungry Huskers event in the fall and Hoop-It, a basketball tournament in the spring. She is in Delta Sigma Pi, the business fraternity and a family representative for Dance Marathon, a fundraiser for Children’s Hospital.
Besides making time for her studies, she also finds it important to take the time to personally meet and talk with her professors. She believes you need the textbook knowledge, but you also have to apply it and be able to work with people.
“At UNL, you might be in a lecture class of 200 and that can be daunting. But, it also forces you to be proactive and get to know your professors. When you attend a university this size, you have to make your place and find your purpose,” she said.