Major update

New drum major learns the ropes over the summer


photo by Bailey C. Fisher

Drum major Isabella Guevara observes the marching band as they rehearse the routines for the Sep. 4 football game. “She voices her opinion a lot more when she’s on the field compared to the other [drum majors]. She’s the one who gets everyone on task,” Caleb Schaefer said.

Junior Isabella Guevara stands six feet above the ground, hands poised to lead the 400 people below her. To keep in time with the metronome, she counts out the beats under her breath. The hat on her head only shades the top part of her face and does little to protect her from the sun and the humidity of the afternoon heat. The exhaustion of the band is overwhelming as the marchers go over the same songs for hours on end.  After hours of rehearsal, the weight of the instruments multiplies.

“The first time I conducted our show all the way through, I started crying on the podium because it was an amazing feeling to lead the band. I struggled a bit with my conducting, but I’ve gotten the hang of it,” drum major Isabella Guevara said.

The job of a drum major is to direct the band on what to play, how to play it and the tempo in which the piece, or pieces, must be played. The drum major is responsible for making sure the band is in sync and must conduct the ensemble with their voice, through hand gestures or with a baton.

“A tough thing is trying to memorize an entire show, stand tunes, different tempos, beat patterns and cutoffs while trying to help others learn their music as well,” Guevara said.

Guevara is one of the three drum majors and spent most of her summer memorizing new routines. Leslie Gallagher and Lauren Culbreth, both seniors, will also be leading the band at football games, halftime shows and the upcoming performances in the fall.

“Isabella makes it a goal to keep everyone on task and is extremely balanced. She is very understanding and likes to help people,” mellophone player Caleb Schaefer said.

The band is known for their loud, upbeat performances during halftime at the football games, and this year’s theme for new performances is The Wizard of Oz. The three movements feature songs from the movie such as “Over the Rainbow,” “We’re Off To See The Wizard” and many more.

Other than the Wizard of Oz, the marching band will be playing songs like “Timber” by Kesha, “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus, “Roar” by Katy Perry and, of course, Hagerty’s “Fight Song.”

“I feel that the stands tunes do a good job of pumping up the people during the games,” Guevara said. “Personally, they’re my favorite part because we all dance and have a good time.”

The band reviewed stands tunes and marching technique for football games during the last few weeks of summer. The marching band’s first performance will be during the football game on Sept. 4 at Winter Springs High School. Guevara is hopeful and confident that the performance will go smoothly.

“I am so thankful for this opportunity to do what I love most,” Guevara said. “This season is going to be filled with memorable performances.”