Montana State University

Spring 2013

Share this article

Mountains and Minds

Photo by Kelly Gorham

Pep Talk May 07, 2013 • Published 05/07/13

Zany, fresh, passionate, the MSU Marching Band and Pep Bands have energized football and basketball games this year. Led by Nathan Stark, MSU director of bands, with the help of student directors Tara Donohoe and Adrian Carroll (who dyed their hair blue and gold, respectively, to get the spirit going), the bands are a growing presence on campus.

MSU's blue-haired lady took a minute between studies, working in a lab and band practice to talk a little bit about MSU's own band of brothers (and sisters).

Name Tara Donohoe, co-drum major

Hometown Helena

Major Environmental science

Research Herbicide resistance in wild oats in lab of Bill Dyer and Barb Keith


Why band?

I've found my niche. There is something about being with nice kids, who are dorky in the same way you are dorky, and who love music. It's been such a big part of my life. I can't imagine not being part of it.

Favorite music?

What I listen to depends on my mood. Currently I've been listening to "Oblivion" by Grimes, "Aeolus" by Freelance Whales, and "Glamazon" by RuPaul.


My biggest inspiration as a performer would have to be RuPaul. My biggest inspiration in general is my mother.

The two people you'd like to have dinner with?

Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver) and writer Margaret Atwood.

Spare time pleasures?

The majority of my time is spent doing homework for my major or working at the lab. Since being in the band is my passion, going to rehearsals and practicing conducting is how I unwind between assignments.

How do you recharge?

I escape school pressures by going to the pep band games and listening to music. I recharge by reading, drawing, watching movies, playing music and going on walks.

Future plans?

Grad school, working with sustainability.


Learn a little more about Donohoe and the MSU Pep Band