OU: This was your third time trying out for drum major. How did you prepare for auditions and get better at the things the judges were looking for?
Mattingly: I think there are three things I can think of right off the bat that the directors and the other students are looking for. First, can you conduct? Can you do the high kicks? Can you do the strut?
Two: How you carry yourself. Can you stand on the ladder and project confidence as you’re leading the band? Part of it is how you act toward fans and other students, and how you carry yourself in general.
Then, the rapport that you have with the band and the relationships you’ve made, the rapport you have with the director.
There’s not a whole lot you can do about the latter except put yourself in the position to lead and step up, to put yourself out there and make those relationships. When it comes to how you carry yourself I think these things can be learned, but it’s always something that’s come very naturally to me. I was drum major in high school, so just standing up on the ladder and being able to call up a tune and conduct it and motivate others in practice and on the game day has just come very naturally. My mom is a teacher, my dad’s a teacher, my brother’s going to seminary to be a youth director, so a teacher of sorts … It’s in my blood, I guess.
But then lastly: skills. That’s my weakest point, personally. I’m not a music major, and I’m not a conducting expert by any means. Michael Hancock, assistant director of Bands, and Brian Wolfe, assistant director of Athletic Bands, have helped me greatly.
It’s about your condition, too. You have to be in shape and strong and flexible. You just have to take plenty of time to work out. I’ve been doing the INSANITY workout trying to get my legs and back strong. You need to work on cardio, too, making sure you can do goose kicks for five sets of eight, for probably a good minute. Just being able to sit there and do high kicks isn’t easy. And then to turn around and be able to do the strut down the field after that ... You need to really be in shape, really be in condition and strong.
OU: Do you ever get tired of conducting “Boomer Sooner” at away games?
Mattingly: Absolutely not! As a matter of fact, I don’t know how other people feel about it, but that is one of my favorite things. It is one of the most passive-aggressive ways to be like “We are here. We are loud. And we’re kickin’ your butt.” And there’s been times, especially when we go to Oklahoma State University, it’s a point to play it as many times as we can. I think we almost broke 100 two years ago.