All former Majorettes and Drum Majors are invited to march with the Alumni Band at Homecoming.
Pictures from Homecoming 2002 featuring the great group of Drum Majors who participated. We've not had six former drum majors march at Homecoming since then.
However, Steve Stone (who had missed a few years) did make an appearance in 2015 to celebrate 50 years since he graduated!!! He was a crowd favorite - as he should have been!

Mark Ealy ‘95-'98, Justin Snyder ‘99-'01, Matt Powers ‘99-'01, David Gates ‘89- '90,
Brad Laver ‘75, and Steve Stone ‘65

They were cheered on by the appreciative crowd..................

Performing during the West Alma Mater

Steve Stone '65 leading the Alumni Band in Script West!
Don't miss future Homecomings to see this great group perform "up close and in person."
They put on a show worth seeing.
DRUM MAJORS - A West High Tradition
Through the years, West has had many great Drum Majors.
The last West Drum Major was MATT BERNDSEN ‘07 during the 2006 football season. Matt had a goal of becoming a Drum Major at The Ohio State University. He has been on the D-Row, the group of band members who are in Drum Major Squad, since his first year at OSU in 2007. There are six on the band D-Row - the Drum Major, one Assistant Drum Major, and four D-Row members.
Matt made a big step in reaching his goal last August when he was named the OSU Assistant Drum Major. The picture was taken September 5, 2010 at the OSU - Navy game when he marched as the Assistant Drum Major for the first time.
Matt has returned to march with the Alumni Band every Homecoming since he graduated to show the West alumni how good he really is and how much better he has gotten since becoming a member of The Ohio State University Marching Band!
And there was another exciting time for Matt when the OSU Band west to the Rose Bowl 2010 - the first time in thirteen years!
Our congratulations to Matt on his achievements and our best wishes to him as he pursues his goal. Matt’s proud parents are STACY NEFF BERNDSEN ‘78 and DOUG BERNDSEN ‘77 (who was also a West Drum Major), his sister - NATALIE BERNDSEN NAUS ‘03, and grandmother LOIS HUNTER NEFF ‘55.
Matt is pictured in his Assistant Drum Major uniform.
Prior to Matt being named an OSU Assistant Drum Major, RICH PARKS ‘82 was the OSU Drum Major in 1987 and 1988.
The OSU web page on the former Drum Majors has a bio on Rich that says, “Rich Parks will be remembered for his precise movements, his quick, positive manner of twirling, signaling, and marching. He is a product of Columbus West Senior High School . . . .”

Rich was quoted as saying, “I was probably the shortest bandsperson on the field, but when I blew the whistle for attention, I was 10 feet tall.” “The biggest thrill is to strut out of the tunnel, through the band to do the back bend, and then lead the band down the field to the strains of Buckeye Battle Cry. You give it your all, and your heart swells with pride. It is a moment you will carry all your life.”

Rich was voted the Most Inspirational Bandperson in 1988 by the other band members. His picture is from the OSU Drum Major web page.

We learned through Stacy Berndsen that Rich had been out of Ohio for several years but he has moved back to the Columbus area and Matt has been in contact with him.
And, prior to Rich, in 1942 (Gerald) JERRY JOHNSTON ‘40 held the distinction of being named the OSU Drum Major.

Jerry’s bio on the OSU web page says. “In 1942, Jerry Johnston broke away from the regular routine pattern for the OSU drum major and became one of the smoothest looking drum majors to execute the high strut. The evolution of the high strut began in 1936 when the pregame music, ‘Buckeye Battle Cry,” increased from 132 to 166 beats a minute. Wesley Leas (‘36 - OSU) introduced the high step, which later evolved into the high strut when the tempo increased to 180 beats in 1939. Dick Jones that year extended the leg movement outward with high knee and pointed toe. This enabled him to smooth his strut and not look bouncy. Ed Maundrell (‘41 - OSU) simply added the arched back.

Johnston polished these movements that he had learned from Jones and Maundrell. He added the accented hip and shoulder movements with head extended back and down as far as possible.” “Maundrell and Johnston had the physical agility to march and bend backwards at a 45-degree angle and move with ease at a tempo of 180 beats a minute, keeping their head level, while elevating their feet 36 inches off the ground. Executing in tempo a coordinated four beat thrust with one arm, they would appear to float effortlessly with the music. This procedure required self-discipline, tremendous stamina, and untold hours of practice.”

Jerry’s picture is from the OSU Drum Major web page.
We can’t include an article about West Drum Majors without mentioning our first Drum Major,
Dr. Jack Miles ‘31
. The following article is reprinted from the July 2003 Alumni Occident.

We got a ’first-hand’ account of the beginning of the West Marching Band from Dr. Jack Miles ‘31, the first West Drum Major. Dr. Miles said he became the drum major when Band Director Mr. Hutchinson told him he would be the drum major. He had previously played the clarinet and oboe in the band.

He said the West principal, Mr. Otto Magly, and the football coach and athletic director, Harold Wise, thought there needed to be more enthusiasm and school spirit at the football games. They felt a good way to do that was to have a marching band at the games to play and bring some excitement to the events. Dr. Miles didn’t believe Mr. Hutchison had much, if any, knowledge of what a marching band should be, but they developed it as they went along.

To learn more about what a drum major should do, Dr. Miles contacted William (Ben) Knepper, the OSU drum major from 1928-1930. Dr. Miles knew Ben through Boy Scouts. Having never even held a baton before his appointment as drum major, he had to learn quickly. And his position earned him a place in West High History of “Firsts” - the First Drum Major! The Athletic Association provided him with a drum major’s shako, a pair of spats, and a baton - the old-fashioned type with the large ball on the end.

Per Dr. Miles, the second game he marched in one of his spats came loose and fell off. He just stopped, removed the other one, threw them to the sidelines, and continued his march down the field. - - - - - - -
We're sorry we don't have a picture of Dr. Miles in his Drum Major uniform to include here.