Meet the Man Behind the Music: Daniel Rosman

Name: Daniel Rosman

Year in College: 5th year senior

Major(s): Instrumental Music Education, Clarinet Performance

Campus Involvements: The Florida State University Marching Chiefs, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia - Social Music Fraternity, College of Music Board of Advisors, Presidential Search Committee


Her Campus (HC): What are your top three favorite things about being Head Drum Major of the Marching Chiefs?

Daniel Rosman (DR): These aren’t necessarily in any order, but one is the people you get to meet in the position.  I mean that in terms of rookies, second years, all chiefs; the people you get to meet in Marching Chiefs are all incredible people.  And that’s because they’re students and Seminoles [from] all over the university.  You get to meet a variety of people and there are some fun people in Chiefs.  Two, and this is the initial reason why I auditioned for leadership starting as Assistant Section Leader my second year, is that being in a position like this gives me the opportunity to have a positive influence on the whole organization of Marching Chiefs.  There’s always room for improvement, no matter what you’re doing, and I have more of an opportunity to fix things in this position to help make Chiefs better.  And third, the sense of pride that I feel wearing the uniform and representing FSU.  I have the same sense of pride now in my Drum Major uniform as I did as a Rookie in my regular Chiefs uniform.  It’s the fact that it’s a Chiefs uniform that matters.

HC: What is the most challenging thing?

DR: Our Director of Bands, Dr. Patrick Dunnigan, says this all the time: “Consistency is the most important thing that a leader can have.”  And I completely agree.  It’s also one of the hardest things to do as a leader.  If I’m going to get up in front of 414 other Marching Chiefs every day, it doesn’t matter what I’m going through personally.  I still have to get up and give them one hundred percent all the time. 

HC: What is your favorite song to conduct?  What gets you super pumped up and excited to be a Seminole?

DR: The first one that comes to mind is “Seminole Uprising,” which I think is a Chiefs favorite.  Also, “The Hymn to the Garnet and the Gold.”  The Hymn is one of our most loved school songs, and in the hearts of Marching Chiefs it is probably the most loved.  For me personally, when I sing The Hymn, it’s about pride and love for FSU, and most importantly, the people that I’ve met through FSU and specifically Marching Chiefs. 

HC: What are you most excited about for the 2014 season and your last year here at FSU?

DR:  In terms of the football season, I’m really excited for all of the hype and expectations surrounding this season.  The cool thing about that, though, is that no matter how well the team does– undefeated, a couple losses, another national championship – we will be there to support the team and FSU one hundred percent.  As far as Chiefs goes, I’m excited for my last season to make the best impact I can and help Chiefs improve as best I can before I leave.  For me, being right on the edge of the cliff of going out into the real world, it’s about working with everyone on leadership and doing everything I can to make Chiefs better.  That way, when I’m long gone, Chiefs will continue to get better.

HC: What kind of response do you get from the Florida State and Tallahassee communities in this role?

DR: People think it’s a very cool position to be in.  For me at home, my parents are very proud.  When I was first Head Drum Major last year, my mom actually told a few local newspaper outlets and there were a couple articles put out.  So it’s a cool thing for me to be able to represent where I’m from and see that they’re supporting me as well.  As for up here, being in any leadership role in Chiefs is a very unique position to be in.  Whether you know it or not, there are always people looking up to you.  I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone come up to me in a Wal-Mart and recognize me as Head Drum Major, but I do get a lot more intrigue when I’m in my uniform.  The funny thing is the occasional fan that will see my uniform and mistake me for Chief Osceola and ask if I have the horse with me.  I always have to say, “no, no, that’s not us.”

HC: How do you balance all of your responsibilities? As Head Drum Major, a music major, and a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, you must be extremely busy!

DR:  That’s been the name of the game my entire college career, and I’m sure everyone at FSU can say the same thing.  My one-on-one Clarinet teacher, Dr. Bish, is my number one role model and mentor for my time here at FSU.  She has helped me a lot with organization – well, everything, really – and time management.  As I have progressed from year to year, I have always tried to keep the main focus on class.  I mean, that’s why we’re here – for the degree.  I also have to put a lot more weight on some of the bigger things, like Head Drum Major for Marching Chiefs, because it’s not just my grades anymore and my performance, it’s the way that everyone performs on the field.  As for Phi Mu Alpha, I chose not to take a formal leadership position so that I can still give as much as I can to all my other activities.  I try to lead by example as much as possible.

HC: What are your plans after graduation?

DR:  I’ll do my internship for music education in the spring and then I’ll graduate.  During that time I’ll be auditioning for grad schools for Clarinet Performance.  Hopefully I’ll get accepted somewhere and I’ll pursue a Master’s degree in Clarinet Performance.  My thoughts after that vary, but my main idea is to try out for a military band.  After my contract ends with the military band, which would be four or so years, I would pursue my ultimate goal of teaching. In terms of performance, I want to push myself and see how far I can get on my instrument, but I also want those experiences so that I can bring them back to my students in the future.

HC: How do you think your experiences as a Marching Chief, and particularly as Head Drum Major, have shaped you as a person?

DR: This one is a marching band thing in general, but even more so in Chiefs, [it’s] getting to be a part of something that is bigger than yourself.  The fact that so many people can do one thing together for one specific purpose is absolutely incredible.  Along with that idea, every single person makes a huge difference even if they don’t think they do.  I can really see this on the podium; even though I’m looking out at 400 people, I can see who is doing something really well or really poorly.  And oftentimes these people have no idea that they’re sticking out in some way.  Also, music has this incredible ability to bring people together in a way that nothing else can.  Think about the Warchant!  As soon as people hear that familiar drum beat, all of the 85,000 people in Doak are doing the Chop.  What else can do that?  Lastly, this experience has made me much closer to Florida State because I have learned all the school songs and [have] been able to support many different areas of FSU.   

HC: What are your interests outside of music?

DR:  I’m a very big supporter of education.  I really, really enjoy sports and exercising.  Even though I’m band-geek extraordinaire at this point, I always enjoyed playing sports growing up.  I am a huge fan of kayaking!  It’s like my favorite thing.  Other than that, I really love food – particularly spicy food.  The spicy ketchup at Whataburger is my Achilles’ heel.

HC: What advice do you have to help current FSU students make the most of their college experience?

DR:  I have to credit this to Dr. Madsen, an incredible professor in the College of Music, who told us to work hard, play hard, and to not confuse the two.  And what he meant by that was to work hard first, and get the important stuff done first, and then play hard later.  Also, don’t be stupid.  It sounds really simple but it’s pretty hard.  Don’t intentionally blow off your work when you know that it will pile up on you later.  Don’t go get hammered on a weekday when you know you have class the next morning.  Get involved here!  Find something that you love at Florida State outside of class. 

HC: Anything you want to add?

DR: First, that I’m very thankful for everyone and everything here at FSU.  Second, go Noles and Marching Chiefs all the damn time!

*All images courtesy of Melina Vastola at Melina’s Photography