IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Rich in tradition, on Saturdays the Hawkeye Marching Band and the drum major strut their stuff to 70,000 adoring fans. With a history that dates back to 1881 nothing has happened at historic Kinnick Stadium without the marching band's drum major leading the way. Drum Major Isaac Anderson said, "When we say 'boom' I slap the goal post. I run on and the golden girl goes out and I go out after her. It's cool to go through the tunnel of drum-line players and out onto Kinnick and toss and pick up the golden girl on the brand new Tiger Hawk."
Rose Bowls, Big Ten championships, rivalries for a pig, they've seen it all until Saturday when Analisa Iole showed up. "It's about time," said Marching Band Director Keven Kastens. As fans, players and coaches have changed over time the marching band has seen a consistent presence lead the band onto the field. A male drum major. It's definitely viewed as a male dominant position," said Iole. As a twenty-year Hawkeye Marching Band Director, Kastens said on Saturday night that all changed. "Annalisa is the first female drum major in the modern era of the Hawkeye Marching Band."
Until now, band members say there has been just one female drum major in 136 years. Iole said, "Right around World War II, when there were not any men to choose from because of the war."
Analisa took the reigns on the biggest stage, Saturday night at halftime as the Hawkeyes battled it out against Penn State and she shined. "For the University of Iowa it's a huge step in general with women as drum majors."
Leaving behind high expectations is now former drum major Isaac Anderson. "She has great drive, great dedication and she's going to be a great leader and great servant to the Hawkeye Marching Band," he said. After a three year run as drum major Isaac is being commissioned in the ROTC. He said, "My orders have finally come up. I will go onto active duty with the US Army heading to Fort Benning, Georgia to learn how to be a tank commander."
Handing over the new command to Analisa wasn't out of necessity, she had to earn it, beating out a half dozen other band members. Kastens said, "There was a committee of school music faculty, Iowa athletic representatives and she hands down did a great job at the audition."
Analisa's duties also won't end with just this season said Kastens, "She will be our drum major next year as well."
In a stadium that seems to witness historic moments on a consistent basis, Analisa Iole is one Hawkeye paving a golden road for many other female drum majors to march on. "Yes, women can hold this position and hopefully do a good job and live up to the standards that people left behind," said Annalisa.