Anna Olsen: Rower by day, Drum Major by night


Next time you find yourself at a Friday night football game scan the band to find Anna Olsen ‘23, Drum Major, conducting the band. Distinguished from the rest, dressed from head to toe in white, Olsen definitely stands out. She has participated in the band since 6th grade. Olsen is also a part of the Girls’ Varsity Crew team. She balances her two commitments all year round. In both of Olsen’s activities, she displays roles of leadership and commitment. Olsen endured a competitive audition to earn the title in the band.

“It was an audition process, I think there were five total candidates. We had a pretty extensive audition where you had to write a letter of intent essay and we had to meet with the principal and vice principal,” Olsen said.

Additionally, the position of Drum Major has to be approved by the other members of the band.

“We also had a teaching hour where the whole band went to the aux gym and all the candidates showed their teaching styles, as well as gave a speech. The winner was voted on by the students,” Olsen said.

Olsen has to manage the unity of the band as a whole, and also individual sections. She’s found that her position works hand in hand with Hania Timek ‘23, center snare.

“It’s a lot of coordination with Hania and then everyone else follows my hands for the conducting but also a lot of listening for the drum line,” Olsen said.

Without these collaborative efforts, some of our favorite post-touchdown jingles and halftime performances wouldn’t be possible. The band requires its members to practice during and outside of school hours, to ensure that they excel in their performances.

Despite her timely commitment, Olsen also makes time to row through the waters of Reeds Lake. Olsen has been participating in crew since freshman year and participates in both the fall and spring seasons. She has stuck with crew throughout her high school career because of the team spirit and new friendships that she has made.

“The idea of being connected together in the same boat, taking the same strokes, bonds the team together in a deep and meaningful way that makes lasting friendships,” Olsen said.

Throughout these four years, she has found her current position on the team in which she has thrived at.

“I’m normally the person that sits in the very front of the boat, so everyone looks at me so we can keep the stroke pace. My position is what they call stroke seat,” Olsen said.

Olsen’s position of stroke seat is critical to her team so she will be attending the Head of The Charles From Oct. 21-23.

“I’m really looking forward to this regatta. It’s actually the biggest regatta in the world, and we were able to get three entries which are very lucky. I’m going in the women’s four,” said Olsen.

Balancing both of these activities can be stressful but for the most part Olsen enjoys them.

“It’s definitely really rewarding, but it can be difficult to find a balance. Having to decide which one to prioritize is definitely difficult because I want to be there for everything, but obviously I can’t,” Olsen said.