“And now in his second year as Michigan’s man-up-front, from Marietta, Georgia, Drum Major David Hines Jr.!”

The 100,000-plus crowd goes bonkers. But one person doesn’t notice.

“From the second I take off and start running to do the jump and the kick and then the backbend — silence for me,” Hines Jr. said. “I don’t hear anything.”

This intense focus is what drives David Hines Jr. Once he has a goal, he makes it happen.

Hines Jr. always knew he wanted to join the Michigan Marching Band, but there wasn’t a section for bass clarinet — the instrument he played in high school. But, he found out that the band needed euphoniums. He picked up the instrument, practiced for a few months and made the squad.

Once Hines Jr. decided he wanted to be the band’s drum major, he tapped into the same bottomless well of self-determination.

“Coming out of high school, I couldn’t touch my toes,” Hines Jr. said.

But with his sights set on being drum major, he started stretching and learning how to twirl. He successfully pulled off a backbend by his sophomore year. The rest is history.

As drum major for the past two years, Hines Jr. has taken his role far beyond the spectacle he puts on every Football Saturday.

“Your job as drum major, in my opinion, is to serve the band and ultimately the University through what you do,” he said. “(If students) need help learning how to march, need help with their music, need help with life … my whole idea is that if I can serve you, then you know I want us to get to the highest level possible.”

In addition to his deep connection to the band, Hines Jr. — a mechanical engineering major — has taken a rigorous curriculum. He plans to eventually combine his technical knowledge with an MBA in hopes of reaching his dream career: roller coaster designer.

With his tremendous resolve, a Hines Jr.-created roller coaster could soon come to a Disney World near you.

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