Former drum major MarKeith Selmon, born and raised in Kosciusko, joined the Big Red Band when he was in sixth grade. He participated for the remainder of his time in local schools, graduating from Kosciusko High School in 2007.
Selmon started out playing the trombone and eventually began learning other instruments such as the bass drum for indoor percussion season and bassoon for the symphonic band.
In Selmon’s tenth-grade and eleventh-grade years of high school, he served as co-drum major alongside Cody McElwain. Selmon served as the head drum major in his senior year.
“One thing that I learned in band was that in order to achieve anything in life, you have to have patience and stay committed to whatever you’re doing,” said Selmon.
Selmon took great pride in wearing the Big Red Band uniform, especially on the drum major stand. He said when he put it on, it was all business.
“My friends used to tell me that when I was on the drum major stand in my uniform, they could tell that it was time for business,” he said. “Every time I would go through the process of putting it on, I would have a mindset shift and only had one goal in mind, and that was to achieve the highest rating or award at that time.”
Selmon said one of his favorite band memories was receiving a verbal offer for a band scholarship from a drum major judge at a contest in Theodore, Alabama during his senior year.
After graduating from Kosciusko High School in 2007, Selmon attended Holmes Community College where he participated in the college’s band program and show choir. After spending a year at Holmes, Selmon transferred to the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg where he completed his bachelor’s degree in computer science.
He said his time in the band program at Kosciusko helped him become more team-oriented and taught him how to work with others toward a common goal. He also credited former band director Mickey Mangum for instilling leadership qualities in him from a young age.
“My time in band has helped me to learn how to become more a team player instead of wanting to do everything on my own,” said Selmon. “I'm an introvert, so I prefer to be alone doing work. But when I reflect on what all I accomplished by being a part of team, it reminds me of how much more I can get done. Also, the leadership qualities and characteristics that were instilled into me by Mr. Mangum will always be with me in everything that I do.”
Selmon currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia and owns a graphic and website design business. He still carries qualities he learned in band with him today — determination and commitment.
“When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses. Only results,” said Selmon. “And that’s what I apply to my life daily.”