RAVENSWOOD - When director Nathan Corathers’ 2014 Ravenswood High School Marching Band takes the field Friday night at Flinn Field, they will have a new on-field leader—a drum major carrying on a family tradition at RvHS.
That new drum major is junior Dani Sinnett, daughter of Bill and Tanya Sinnett of Ravenswood. Dani’s middle name is “Kay” but it could easily be “Music,” since music is such an integral part of her life.

“Since my sister (Janie) was drum major, I’ve always wanted to be one,” Dani said. “So when I was old enough that I felt comfortable doing it, I decided to try for it.”
Actually, Dani’s mother, Tanya (Divers) Sinnett, and her sister were both Ravenswood High School Band drum majors, so she’s a legacy in commanding the marching band onfield.
“It’s nice,” Dani said of carrying on a family tradition, “but it’s also nerve-wracking. Since my mom and sister did it, I feel there’s a standard for me to live up to. They’ve watched me practice a little, but I want them to give me advice and tell me if I’m doing something wrong. I want their input. I want to be the best I can be.”
Style-wise, Dani says she’s more like her mom as a drum major. “I’m more like my mom than my sister, because my mom’s old school and I’m kind of like that.”
She does readily admit to being a bit apprehensive of her debut as drum major, although she says she’ll be more nervy at competitions than at football game shows. “Since I’m younger, most of the other drum majors will have more experience than I do and that makes me nervous,” Dani confided.
Dani close her uniform to go with the RvHS Band’s “Little Shop of Horrors” 2014 competition show theme. “My outfit’s very mod with black boots,” she explained.
Dani is a talented trumpet player, but says it’s nice to have a break and be drum major during marching season. “When marching season is over, I’ll kinda be happy to go back to playing trumpet in the concert band,” she said. “But right now I’m looking forward to my new role with the band.”
Playing trumpet is also a legacy musical activity for Dani. Her mom and sister also played trumpet in the RvHS Band. She started playing herself in the fifth grade band. “They would teach us the basic stuff, and then I would go home and have competitions with Mom to see who could play it better,” Dani said with a smile.
To prepare for her new role as drum major, Dani attended a drum major camp in Ohio, where she learned the “basic stuff and technique and focused on that.” She admitted to getting a little homesick in her first long stay away from home.
She later attended the prestigious Governor’s School of the Arts for a longer summer period. “I didn’t really get homesick there until right near the end,” Dani said. “They kept us so busy, I didn’t have time.”
Music is a way of life for the new drum major even beyond band. She’s a member of the RvHS Concert Choir, Rave Revue show choir, Concert Choir Select, Vocal Dimensions vocal jazz ensemble, and From Outta Nowhere (acapella group). She has been selected to All-State Chamber Choir and All-State Choir. She is active in her church choir at Independent United Brethren Church of Ravenswood.

Her ability to read music as both an instrumentalist and vocalist is a real plus, she says.
Dani is a member of National Honor Society and Christians in Action. She is Historian of her Junior Class. She’s also a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan—another Sinnett family legacy, and is active in her church. She also enjoys riding her bike, doing five miles regularly for fun and fitness. She’s also done some weightlifting to strengthen her arms for her upcoming drum major duties.
Dani said she’s excited about the 2014 marching band. “It’s really shaping up well,” she said. “We were worried at the beginning with so many new members (23) when we had about seven last year, so it’s completely different. But it’s looking good.”