Emily Golden, Gavin Fulker and Roderick Keys

As the "Pride of Niner Nation" Marching Band approaches our fifth season, we introduce you to our drum majors; Emily Golden, Gavin Fulker and Roderick Keys.

Emily Golden, Drum Major

Emily Golden, Drum Major

Emily is a junior music education major from Morehead City, North Carolina. She graduated from West Carteret High School. Under the direction of Kim Barclift, Craig Everett and Andrew Wright, she was a member of the West Carteret Marching Patriots, marching euphonium and serving as Low Brass Section Leader.

During her first year at UNC Charlotte, she marched baritone with the PNNMB... the first woman to do so. Emily plays euphonium in UNC Charlotte's Wind Ensemble and Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Shawn Smith and Dr. Jeremy Marks. She is the President of the UNC Charlotte Brass Guild, an active member of the Student Advisory Council for the Department of Music, a part of the PNNMB Diversity Council and a member of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). Emily enjoys coffee, science, corny jokes, working out and the beach.

"I'm so excited to serve as one of the drum majors for the PNNMB again this season," says Emily. "This next season for the Pride of Niner Nation will be full of positive change and consistent growth for all members."

Gavin Fulker, Drum Major

Gavin Fulker, Drum MajorGavin is a sophomore music education major from Denver, North Carolina. He graduated from North Lincoln High School, where he was a member of the North Lincoln “Band of Knights”under the direction of Neil Underwood and Kevin Still. At North Lincoln, he marched clarinet before serving as drum major his junior and senior years, as well as marching in the Indoor Drumline and serving as concertmaster of the Wind Ensemble. At UNC Charlotte, Gavin plays clarinet in the Wind Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra and Clarinet Choir, as well as being an active brother in UNC Charlotte’s chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He hopes to one day pursue his doctorate in music and teach at the collegiate level.

"Music has always meant so much to me, and I want to see it have the same impact on everyone at UNC Charlotte," says Gavin. "Big things are happening for the PNNMB, and I can’t wait to see how much we’ll continue to accomplish together!"

Roderick Keys, Drum Major

Roderick Keys, Drum Major

Roderick is a junior computer science major with a minor in mathematics from Fayetteville, North Carolina. He graduated from Jack Britt High School. Under the direction of Timothy Parsons, he was a member of the Pride of Jack Britt Marching Buccaneers where he marched trumpet and served as Brass Captain.

At UNC Charlotte, Roderick was a member of the PNNMB trumpet section his first three years. During his third year, he also served on the student leadership team as a Drill Assistant. Roderick has played as a member of the 49ers Basketball Band and the Symphonic Band. He enjoys playing basketball, coding, hanging out with friends, cooking and participating in the athletic band program.

“Choosing to do marching band has always been an easy choice for me,” says Roderick. “Being chosen as a drum major for the upcoming season has been a blessing and I’m very excited to be working alongside Emily and Gavin. I can’t wait to create incredible moments with the Pride of Niner Nation.”


Chosen through audition, drum majors serve as the field conductors of the marching band, leading in practice and performance. It is both a great honor and a great responsibility to be named drum major. We wish Emily, Gavin, Roderick and the “Pride of Niner Nation” Marching Band success in their upcoming fifth season!


By Dr. Chesley Black, Student Leadership Program & Media Director