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Graduate Named Drum Major for University Marching Band

Mars Area graduate Nicholas Pecora (Class of 2015) was selected as a drum major for the Northwestern University Wildcat Marching Band.

“Nick is always high energy and very positive. His enthusiasm is contagious among his peers,” said Dan Farris, Northwestern University director of athletic bands. “He’s done an amazing job in his first few weeks in the position.”

Currently a junior at Northwestern, Pecora played trumpet in the marching band for two years before auditioning for drum major. Candidates for the position must submit to an interview; demonstrate mace and back-bend (touching head to ground) skills and the ability to march and call commands; and complete a live conducting audition with the marching band.

At Mars Area High School, Pecora joined the marching band in eighth grade and served as drum major during his sophomore, junior and senior years.

“Nick… was always very dedicated, mature, and responsible. (As a freshman), I could see great leadership qualities in him already,” says Tammi Redmond, Mars Area Centennial School music teacher and former Mars Area High School Marching Band director, who initially encouraged Pecora to audition for drum major. “He took this challenge and went above and beyond. 

During his tenure, the band won both the 2013 and 2014 PIMBA (Pennsylvania Interscholastic Marching Band Association) Class AA Championships. Pecora also represented the high school music program at numerous PMEA (Pennsylvania Music Educators Association) festivals for band, orchestra and chorus; and, in his senior year, was selected to receive the John Philip Sousa Band Award. 

Pecora also performed supporting lead roles in the Mars Area High School’s productions of Shrek the Musical (Lord Farquaad) and Footloose (Rev. Shaw Moore).

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