The number one job of a high school drum major is to conduct the marching band.
Runge High School, head band director Nathan Jones said that all performers will be slightly nervous, but leaders have learned how to hide it better.
“Being a drum major means more than knowing the music,” he said. “It means you have the respect of your peers because you have those leadership qualities. But it also means you can hone in and focus when it matters most.”
This year’s tryouts were open to all high school band members and had a compelling list of requirements.
Students were asked to submit a packet which included an application, a recommendation from at least one teacher, an essay, and signatures from both the principal and their parents.
“We’re a young band,” said Jones. “This year we’re hoping to have 35 to 40 members, including eighth-graders. We didn’t have enough people interested in guard or twirling so we won’t have those groups this year. It’s a process, but we are growing.”
Head marching tech Katie Lara said she is looking forward to helping the band this year and thinks a strong performance will bring more students in as well.
“I think those nerves are what fuels a better performance,” said Lara. “It just makes them want to succeed even more and you can see it on the field.”
Sophomore trombonist Xavier Rodriquez and freshman flutist Kailee Green were the only students who showed up to tryouts on April 1.
“I feel pretty good,” said Rodriguez. “I think I can lead this band to where we need to be.”
Students were only required to have one year marching experience before applying.
“I’m ready,” said Green. “I really want to make a difference and be a part of leading this band.”
Director Jones confirmed on April 7 that he and a panel of judges selected Xavier Rodriguez to be drum major for the 2021 season and Kailee Green as field captain.
The show for next year is Marvel including Marvel Studios Fanfare, Captain America March, The Black Panther and The Avengers.