Arts/Entertainment Spotlight: Drum Majors


Photo by Jesika Miller

Ussery marches for a Friday night performance.

Christian Wynne and Jaxson Buttram

The sun beating down on their heads. “Band atten hut!” the drum majors yell. The band uniformly pops to attention “Pride!” they yell. *Tweet Tweet* goes the whistle, and the band presents their horns as the drum majors turn around. “You can now start your preference for the 2021 Military Marching Championships. *Tweet Tweet* goes the whistle and the performance begins.

The band competed in the UIL State Championships on Oct. 26 at the Pine Tree High School stadium. They placed first in prelims as well as finals and were then announced as the 4a Military Marching State Champions for the second year in a row.

This group has been special,” Principal Jeremy Chilek said. “They won two back to back state marching championships so that shows a lot of leadership of them. We have four amazing leaders on our campus.”

The band has three new drum majors and a new head drum major. They are Christiana Ussery, Aaron Roden, Liv Simmons, and head drum major Kaitlyn Groth. 

“Being a drum major is a service job,” head drum major Groth said. “The most important part is being able to be available to anybody and help out however you can.  The hardest part about being a drum major is seeing something that needs to be fixed by our marching and not knowing how to tell them it needs to be changed and the verbage on how to say it.”

The drum majors had a try out process where they would perform a short drill from memory in front of a podium of judges. The judges then pick the top four  candidates who will become the new drum majors.

“The drill was really hard to do by yourself,” junior Jozlynn Bielitz said. “I am really proud of them though, they really worked hard and it showed off in the audition.”

During the summer, the drum majors attend a drum major camp. During the camp they learn discipline, different types of maneuvers, and how to become a sufficient leader.

“Drum major camp is a lot of fun,” Simmons said. “It is very hard core, we were outside for like eight hours a day just in a parking lot practicing.”

All the drum majors plan on taking band college to college. Roden wants to major in music education, and Groth plans on majoring in Music Therapy.

“I really enjoyed marching band and I wanted to serve the band in whatever way I could to the best of my ability and I just found drum major to be just that place,” Roden said. “I will definitely take band in college and I plan on becoming a band director.”