Karina Howey is a college student majoring in percussion performance and nuclear engineering. A two-time Music for All Summer Symposium student camper (2017 and 2018), she is now a drum major at the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps. This summer will be her fourth season with the corps (including a partial 2020 season).

 During her time at the Summer Symposium, Karina absorbed a variety of leadership techniques and schools of thought on leadership. One of her biggest takeaways was learning to embody the adage ‘no one cares how much you know until they know much you care.’ The faculty and SWAGS at Summer Symposium demonstrated how to be a leader that embodies belonging through their interactions with campers. Karina left each summer with ample tools to construct a collaborative and constructive culture. “The core of every ensemble is membership, and I learned that nothing matters if I don’t put the good of the membership first.”

 At Summer Symposium, faculty members guide campers through their leadership thought processes. Karina remembers being gathered with other campers, listening to a faculty member teach. The instructor pointed out that he had positioned the campers so their backs were to the sun  so the sun wouldn’t be in their eyes and that they were sitting on the sidewalk, not the grass because someone might be allergic and that would impede their ability to listen. Karina was amazed at how the tiniest details impacted being a leader and now includes them in her own leadership.

 As Karina has grown in her leadership experience, she credits the Summer Symposium for her ability to consider other people’s opinions on leadership and “being the match and tinder” for her love of leadership and success in leadership. She remembers listening with awe as a camper to a Carolina Crown drum major. Now, she’s a drum corps drum major herself. For current and future campers, Karina has some advice: “This experience is what you make of it. Go ahead and try it even if you aren’t exactly sure. The more you go for it that week, the better it will be.”