Band majors play major role in band’s success

By Michal MacMorran, Sophomore

This is Senior Kate Chmielewski’s and Junior Carlie Glaze’s second season as drums majors of the Marching Mustangs.

Though they both took on band in the sixth grade, Chmielewski has been in the high school band program for four years, and Glaze is on her third.

“The experience has been monumental,” Glaze said. “We’re all a big family. It wouldn’t be fun if you didn’t enjoy the people that you’re with, ut we do. There isn’t a time that I’m not happy to be in band.”

The drum majors’s schedules present more challenges than ease, though. To be leaders of such an acclaimed ensemble of performers, they really have to work for it. The approach of ISSMA State Finals, the biggest competition of the year at Lucas Oil Stadium, means that the band’s practice time and input level is ramped to full speed. Four days out of the week are committed to four-hour practices after school, and one day requires a two-hour practice.  On top of that, Chmielewski and Glaze specifically have many tasks and jobs to take care of.
“To be a drum major in this ensemble you have to be able to give up a lot of freedoms that most teens have,” Aaron Wells, conductor of EHS’s band program, said.

“The success of any great band comes from the leadership that the drum majors bring to the table, and with Kate and Carlie we have two of the best.  These two have been not only amazing drum majors but are amazing young woman.  They have, and are, one of the main reasons why we have been so successful this year.”       -Aaron Wells

Some of their duties as drum majors include:
~being at lease 30 minutes early to every rehearsal and normally leave 30 minutes after everyone else has left
~set up the field for practice
~prepare the sound equipment for the staff
~have their podiums up and ready before practice starts
~take attendance and contact people who are absent
~take care of assigning duties to the members such as cleaning, loading, taking care of props, and other items that come up during the season

As time-consuming as the role is, their spirits aren’t dampened.

“It’s just been fun as we’ve prepared for Semi State and State these last two weeks, so it doesn’t even matter,” Chmielewski said.

It’s a special opportunity and honor to be recruited as a drum major.
“Being a drum major, and especially being a drum major in this band, is a very tedious and demanding job,” Wells said. “You will be in a high stress situation a good portion of the time. When I look to appoint a drum major I try to find someone who is able to cope, adjust, lead, and understand as well as perform under a high level of stress.”

All of the stress and hard work has paid off- the Marching Mustangs were victorious, placing grandly in second at the ISSMA State Finals in Lucas Oil Stadium on November 8.


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