Conducting Through the Season

Katharine Walker, Tyler Nguyen, and Elisa Lee reflect on their positions as drum majors for the 2019 marching season


Novia Vincze

Anna Deardorff, Sports and News Editor


The Reedy High School Band is making a name for itself in the short amount of time which the organization has been open for. Katharine Walker, Tyler Nguyen, and Elisa Lee are the 2019-2020 drum majors who lead this group 160 students.

“I am very passionate about teaching and helping students,” sophomore Elisa Lee said. “I want to be a band director when I grow up, so this will definitely be a part of my life outside of high school and it is definitely helping me achieve my goals required for that path.”


Drum majors are the head leaders who conduct the band, maintain tempo during performances, assist with marching technique, and help members learn music. Occasionally, drum majors will lead warm ups or conditioning. You can spot them at football games on tall ladders in front and behind the band. 

“The most exciting thing is teaching drill and conducting the marching show,” senior Katharine Walker said. “Getting to go up on the podium and having everyone’s eyes look up to me for the tempo is something unlike I’ve ever experienced.” 

The process to be selected for this highly skilled job is long and grueling. Applicants must go through a process of filling out a form, holding a personal interview with the director, responding on the spot to questions from members, conducting in a group setting, and giving a speech on qualifications. Adding to the pressure, band members will rate each candidate from 1 to 10.


“I personally think one of the most difficult things is being in the spotlight where everyone can see you,” Elisa said. “You really get tough skin being a drum major.” 

Although there are many different types of leadership positions band members can hold during their time in the organization, being a drum major is considered the highest teaching and instructional leadership role possible.

“The exciting thing is that you get to help people learn throughout the entire band program,” junior Tyler said. “I was kind of nervous because it is a lot of responsibility and it’s a lot on top of going into the hardest year of high school.”

Being a drum major has proven to teach important life lessons, allowing for growth in music.


“Band taught me a lot of important qualities like working as a team, collaboration, and responsibility,” Katharine said. “You want to make sure that you’re having a positive impact on your peers around you.”

These leaders understand that growth comes in many different forms. 

“This year I am not worried about how well we place or what our rank is,” Elisa said. “I’m more focused that band is an improving environment for

everyone and that everyone feels safe and happy in it. That’s an important thing as an organization.”