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Passion and drive help senior Julie Claveau

find her place on and off the field.

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(Photo Courtesy of Mark Cox)

Coming from a small town, senior Julie Claveau was determined to take every opportunity possible during her collegiate career.

After attending the drum major and color guard camps at CMU for 2 years, Claveau said she was so excited to audition for the School of Music to play the clarinet.

She was not accepted.

“I was absolutely devastated. I had my heart set on being a music major,” Claveau said. “Although I was let down, I wanted to keep my passion for music thriving and the mentors I met at camp encouraged me to audition for drum major.”

Overcoming the hardships along the way, Claveau’s unstoppable perseverance led her to be named the fourth female drum major in Central Michigan University’s history.

But her story doesn’t end there. Claveau holds strong leadership in her honorary band and service fraternity Kappa Kappa Psi, is the basketball band director, spends time as a student-athlete tutor and is a volunteer at the infant and toddler room at Creative Beginnings.

Her undeniable passion to grow and learn has pushed her through the obstacles. With all of her achievements, Claveau remains modest.

“At first I may have been doing these things for myself and to build my resume,” she said. “But I have found that in these roles I find the success in helping others accomplish their goals. When I see them reach what they have been working toward, that’s when I feel proud.”
Claveau, an education and early child development major, said when she helps other people love what they are doing she knows her job has been done. She finds the motivation to help others in looking back to times where she once wasn’t as sure of herself.

In seventh grade, Claveau said she almost quit her music dreams and stopped playing. “It was no longer ‘the cool thing to do’ and a lot of my friends had switched their interests to sports,” she said.

A teacher convinced Claveau to attend a summer band camp, which is what reassured her music was where her enthusiasm is. She described the experience as a ‘whole new world’, and being surrounded by people that shared her passion and while learning new formations and movements, she found she was hooked.

Immersing into her love of band, Claveau took on the role of the director of the basketball band, which last year was named “The Best Band in the MAC”. “There is a difference in the marching band and the basketball band, obviously with size-- from 300 people to about 30, it’s a more intimate experience,” she said. “I like that it gives people a chance to stand out and take ownership. It makes it so dynamic and the energy is over the top.”

The relationships Claveau has formed within the community of the School of Music have differed from those in the education program because she said her colleagues in the Education and Human Services building are more on a professional level.

“The people I have met with band involvement have turned into family,” she said.


Katelyn Sweet

(989) 774-3281