From the HMB Director

Husky Band twirler brings home national title

As some of you may not be aware, the Husky Marching Band’s Feature Twirler position is one of the elite solo twirling positions in the nation. The position is awarded every four to five years, after a national search and audition process. It is the only position in the band that is supported with a full scholarship, which is made possible through the endowment of former HMB Feature Twirler, Kristie Burris Forrest.

For the last five seasons, the coveted position has been held by Krissy Terwilliger from Suffern, New York. Last summer, she achieved something that has only happened once before in the 80-year history of HMB twirlers: Krissy took the title at the National Baton Twirling Association’s collegiate national championships!

“For the competition,” Krissy describes, “twirlers from universities all around the country gather to showcase their skills. The performance should be similar to what one would do during a feature at a home game. Each competitor performs a three-minute routine to a medley from their marching band, using both single and multiple batons.  A panel of three judges scores contestants on showmanship, musicality, and technical difficulty.”

Earning this title is a dream come true for Krissy. “When I was a little girl,” she confides, “I aspired to be a feature twirler like the ones I saw competing in the national collegiate championship every year. That dream is what motivated me through my twirling career and has brought me to where I am today.”

Former Feature Twirler Kristie Burris Forrest, who held the position herself from 1971 through 1974, states, “Krissy’s winning of this coveted award shines the spotlight on the University of Washington, the Department of Athletics and the HUSKY MARCHING BAND that I love. Those who follow in her footsteps know the expectations of excellence in the classroom and performance on the field are set high. Krissy’s talent, dedication, sacrifice and determination seasoned with the love of her sport are the key ingredients to her championship award. Personally I am so very proud of Krissy!”

Krissy enters the 2017 football season in her fifth and final year as the HMB Feature Twirler. An academic standout, she is completing her degrees in both Mechanical Engineering and Vocal Performance.

Krissy sums up her experience, “Bringing home the national collegiate championship to a school as incredible as the University of Washington is truly my proudest achievement.”

And we’re all really proud of you too, Krissy! Congratulations!