Marching band’s “major” announcement

March 14, 2012 — by Cecilia Hollenhorst

Though the school year’s end may seem a long way off, the marching band has already begun shaping its next season. Marching band leadership team members have been announced, including head manager junior Oliver Chen and new drum majors juniors Kevin Chen, Justin Hang and Michael Shang, who will join current drum major junior Bennett Lopez.

Though the school year’s end may seem a long way off, the marching band has already begun shaping its next season. Marching band leadership team members have been announced, including head manager junior Oliver Chen and new drum majors juniors Kevin Chen, Justin Hang and Michael Shang, who will join current drum major junior Bennett Lopez.

All prospective marching band leaders (section leaders, managers and drum majors) complete an application; however, the drum major selection process remains the most involved, since music department chair Michael Boitz and band director Seth Jones require each applicant to write an essay, lead a marching basics lesson and conduct the band.

They then combine their observations with feedback from band members obtained through an election process to determine who they believe will form the strongest leadership team.

Expressing a desire to be drum major through an essay came naturally to many students, since they felt passionate about the subject or had even written similar essays in the past, but demonstrating leadership qualities while under pressure posed a unique challenge.

“The marching and conducting auditions were more challenging for me because I had never before led a large group in those ways,” Kevin Chen said.

Despite the grueling application process, the work only continues after leaders are selected. As the marching band heads toward its 2012 season, the leadership team knows that increasing membership and the upcoming trip to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will place a considerable amount of responsibility on their shoulders, but they remain enthusiastic.

“I’m determined to give the marching band all my attention and dedication in order to give my fellow students a fantastic marching season,” Hang said.

Regardless of the work that comes along with the job, drum majors express excitement about the year ahead.

“Becoming a drum major is truly a dream come true,” Kevin Chen said. “A few years ago, I could have never imagined that I would come this far. It only proves that yesterday’s dreams are often tomorrow’s realities.”

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