First-Generation Student Makes History

Segment #2 from Jackson State University


Jackson State is known for the quality and precision of its marching band, the Sonic Boom of the South, and who better to discuss it than Marvin, the Boom’s head drum major. Hailing from Dallas, Texas, Marvin is a senior biology pre-med major and a first generation college student who will share his experience at his dear old college home. It’s all yours, Marvin.

Thanks, Desi. I’m Marvin, a senior biology pre-med major and the first Latino head drum major of the Sonic Boom of the South. A fun fact about me is that I have an identical twin brother. Shout out to Kevin and my mom who helped make my dream of attending JSU and joining the Boom a reality. Growing up in Dallas, I attended Skyline High School where my former band director was a JSU graduate and a member of the Boom. He incorporated a lot of the Boom style into our routines, which sparked my love for Jackson State. I never imagined as a sophomore, I would make history by becoming the first Hispanic student to serve as a member of the J5 Drum Major squad. I made history again as a first Hispanic head drum major in 2022. We are known for our high energy performances and our iconic marching style. I also like that we’re more than friends. Under the direction of Dr. Roderick Little, the Sonic Boom is a family. From the band and the Prancing J-Settes, to our cheer squad and mascot, Sonny Thee Tiger, we work hard and we play harder, but the expectation at JSU is always excellence. That’s what we strive for daily. The Sonic Boom is the most visible music ensemble, but we also have the Wind Ensemble, the Symphonic, and the Concert Band. The Boom has made half-time appearances for Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions, New Orleans Saints, and the Cincinnati Bangles. And most recently, we appeared on “Good Morning America” and the ESPN “College GameDay”. I’ve learned so much about legacy, tradition, and the definition of academic and personal excellence. Next, I plan to go to med school and become a pediatrician. I want children to have a healthy start so they can grow up and experience an institution like JSU. Back to you, Desi.

Wow. Congratulations on making history as the first Hispanic drum major for the Sonic Boom. Those performances were amazing and I can see why the Sonic Boom is called the summa cum laude of bands. It’s great to see students from all majors and backgrounds working together to make incredible music and memories. Thanks, Marvin. 

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