College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

What does community sound like? For Anna Hackbarth, it’s marching band music

Anna Hackbarth holds a sousaphone
Anna Hackbarth holds a sousaphone

Photography by Ryan Riley

When I heard the ISU Cyclone Marching Band practicing during my first tour of campus, I just immediately fell in love. I knew I wanted to come to Iowa State and be in the band and be a part of all of it.

And, lucky for me, because I always planned to major in engineering, Iowa State is a great band school and a great engineering school. 

Two trumpet players at marching band practice
Marching band member

I’ve found strong community in both band and in the College of Engineering as an electrical engineering major. Our band director always says at practices “look around you and you’re standing next to your maid of honor at your wedding, your future spouse, your friends for life.”

And I have met some of the best friends, starting right away at band camp and in my first engineering classes. Since many people in my band section are fellow engineers, if we’re struggling with an engineering assignment, we help each other out.

Band members with their arms around each other
Trumpet players in a circle
Flag member of marching band
Marching band members practicing
Marching band member plays the sax
Band director directs practice

It makes perfect sense to me that so many engineering students are in marching band. Both engineering and band involve a lot of quick learning, finding patterns, problem solving and figuring your way out of tough spots. And in both band and engineering you have to develop teamwork and leadership skills if you want to be successful.

Marching band members during a game
Band members lined up on the football field

Being a section leader in Marching Band and majoring in electrical engineering keep me very busy, but I do everything I do because I love it. I love the Iowa State community. I love my fellow students.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have so many opportunities at Iowa State and made so many friends that I want to create a community that enables other students to do the same – as a Cyclone Engineer, in marching band, everywhere.

Anna Hackbarth