The Leader of the Band

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The Leader of the Band

Aubrie Lawrence, Staff Writer

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Majors and majorettes are so much more than just the face of a band. They help to guide the band through marching season and give kind words of encouragement, as well as harsh words of criticism.

With so many different things that a major is in charge of, it is hard to understand what the key aspects are. The “trainees” for drum major have a chance to learn the basic things that they will do in the position. Each trainee has different abilities that others may not have, and each come from a different section that may allow for the different abilities to come more naturally. These abilities are what shape a major and allow them to lead the band with little problem. Conducting, for example, is one of the most important things a major can do. It helps to guide the band into a steady tempo so that there is no rushing or slowing down in a piece. It is what a major is known for, and allows them to be in control of the band.

Cade Stephenson, a sophomore trying out for major here at Alliance High School states that “Conducting appears to be easy, but being able to conduct and conduct well are two different situations. I want to be able to conduct well, rather than just conduct.”

Hannah Middleton, Sydnie Waldron, Alivia Carlson, Cade Stephenson, Lezlie Hausmann, Jewelia Taylor, and Erica Escamilla practice the art of conducting.

Though most people think that a major just stands in front of the band and waves their arms, they do so much more than that. They are the director’s eyes and ears when it comes to hearing what the band, otherwise known as the friends and peers of the major, have to say about the season and how they are feeling. The major also gives kind leadership advice to the band so that they feel inspired to keep going, especially when it is mid-October and everyone is feeling a bit low on energy.

One question that races through everyone’s mind when they hear that one of their fellow section mates is trying out to be major is the question of, “what will happen to the section if you get the position?” If the person is a key member to the section, it may spell a quick disaster till the section learns to manage without that prominent member.

While some people who try out are one of many in their section, others are not so lucky. Sydnie Waldron, for example, is the only member of the Tenor Saxophone section. When asked about the future of her section, she replied, “It will be obliterated. I am the only person in my section and we would have to find a replacement tenor sax to cover the part or learn to live without it if I was to become majorette.”

There are many thoughts that run through a “trainee’s” head. But one though that seemed to run through my head the most was the “will they respect me?” thought that made me fear the process the most. As a freshmen, we expect to have little respect from the upperclassman, but to be in front of the band as one, can be one way to learn that the upperclassman in the band may not respect you.

Erica Escamilla explains what it means to be a major or majorette.

Jewelia Taylor, a freshman here at AHS, states that “I’m sure some people will underestimate me since I am a freshman, but I think I’ve began to earn respect since the beginning of the year. People have seen what I’m capable of and the amount of work I put into band. They’ve started to take me more seriously.”

Lezlie Hausmann and I, are the only two competitors that have competed once before for the title of High School Band Major. It was a great experience as a freshman to really see what it was like to command a band, and going into it again as a sophomore, I now know the things that I need to work on to be the best I can be in the competition. Lezlie says the same thing.

“This being my second time trying out for drum major, I feel that I might have a better chance of getting this position because of the experience I gained from last year now under my belt. And since I’ve matured some in the past year, people might take me more seriously and that will be to my advantage this spring.”

If fate allows me to be the next junior majorette of the Alliance High School band, then I know that I will try my absolute best to lead the band in any way possible, whether it be helping to learning a basic rhythm or having a personal chat with someone from another section that wants to talk, I know I will be there to help. Being major of the band is a big responsibility and changes a person’s life. No matter the outcome, I am excited to be apart of this experience. Even if I don’t win, I know that I will be ready to listen to the new major or majorette that won the competition. Each person has their own unique look on the band and will do great things for it. In the end, I am happy doing whatever I can for the band, whether it be the major of the band, or just a member that marches on the field.