PWCS alumna and Pride of Oklahoma’s first female drum major returns to PWCS as band director
Posted on 11/07/2019
Sieberts conducting in college band uniformForest Park High School alumna, and Patriot High School Band Director, Julia Siberts, brings more to her classroom than a love for music. Siberts brings a unique story that demonstrates a strength and determination developed as the first female drum major of the University of Oklahoma’s Pride of Oklahoma marching band.

Though Siberts grew up in Prince William County, attending Swans Creek Elementary School, Benton Middle School, and Forest Park High School, she comes from a long line of University of Oklahoma graduates. As a fourth generation Oklahoma Sooner herself, she followed in her parents’ footsteps to study music. While studying music education, Siberts set her sights on the drum major position of the Pride of Oklahoma, a position that had never been filled by a female in its more than 100-year history.

Siberts said that the fact that the position hadn’t previously been held by a female Sooner didn’t phase her. “Being the drum major at the University of Oklahoma was a dream of mine since I was in high school. I knew that there had never been a woman in the position before, but it was not something that affected my perception of the position,” Siberts explains.

To achieve her dreams, Siberts began to rigorously train for the physical portion of the three-part audition process in which band members vote and choose the next season’s drum major. Along with conducting and interviewing, auditionees complete the physical portion of the audition by performing the signature “strut” and kicks required of the band’s leader.

With the support of the Pride of Oklahoma marchers and Director Brian Britt, Siberts became the university’s first female drum major. Siberts said, “After earning the position, I quickly realized the importance of the University finally having a female drum major. The community was so supportive and excited that we had made this step. I am honored to have had influence on some of the young female musicians in the Oklahoma community. Being the first female came with a lot of obstacles, and I am glad that I had the opportunity to take on some of the challenges in hopes to open the avenue for more females to earn the position.”

Siberts took the field as drum major in fall of 2017. She said that the experience taught her organization, prioritization, and how to be detail oriented. Most importantly, she said it taught her, “how to create and maintain a positive and encouraging culture.” This final lesson is what she uses with her students today.

“When I heard about the opening at Patriot High School I knew I had to apply. The tradition of excellence that this school upholds is something that anyone would be lucky to be a part of,” she explained.

This year the Pride of Patriot Marching Pioneers, the Patriot High School marching band, competed and received first place in music and percussion, as well as a superior rating by the Virginia Band & Orchestra Directors Association (VBODA), under Siebert’s direction.