Bison Band Gets New Drum Majors


Drum Majors Cruz Wright, Shelby Flanagan, and Philip Rowles

Abigail K. McCracken, Staff Writer

This school year, the Bison Band welcomed three new drum majors, seniors Cruz Wright, Philip Rowles, and Shelby Flanagan. These hard-working band members have been drum majors since July 2019 and have been in the band in years past. 

For the 2019-20 school year, the band is smaller than it has been in previous years, but still has many dedicated members. The band this year also contains many students in ninth and tenth grade, so having good role models to look up to and to follow in the footsteps of is key. The shared reason that the drum majors decided to step up to their position is because they wanted to help the band and to become better leaders. 

Before they wanted to become leaders of the band, they marched and played in the halftime shows with many other band members.  Of course, they still get to play their instruments and show off their marching abilities, but now they have another important job to do, which is to conduct the band. 

To become a drum major, an audition is required. In the audition process, they had to show off their skills that they had learned. Philip Rowles states, “To prepare for the audition, I had to make sure that I was prepared to become the role model the band would look up to. I was also tasked with learning the different conducting patterns, our salute, and all vocal and whistle commands.” 

Becoming good role models is a big focus for all of them, and they all look up to some of their own, like Mr. Rothrock, our choir director, who was previously a drum major for Clearfield, and Mr. Mandell, our band director. 

Along with being in a new position, there are many new responsibilities that come with it.  Some of them include memorizing and organizing the music, calling drill sets, and being a leader to the whole band, as well as someone that they can look up to. 

Cruz Wright adds, “A lot of responsibility fell up on all three of our shoulders. For each bit of give, there was a little bit of take. We had to learn how we all could work best together. We each found our niche and really we all accepted the tasks that we were best equipped to handle, based on our strengths.” 

Even though leading a group of people can come with its stresses, it also comes with a lot of rewards. Shelby Flanagan says, “Something that I do not like about my position is how stressful it can get at times. Sometimes it’s not being able to figure out how to end songs and other times it’s messing up weird drill counts and having to redo them. Overall we figure things out pretty quick.” 

They all enjoy helping the students in the band, and the students always enjoy having them there having open arms, willing to assist them. Cruz Wright adds, “Of all things, I enjoy seeing the band from drum major perspective. I love to watch the band perform and take pride in just how much work we have all put in together. The band is truly a group of students dedicated to expressing art, and the time it takes to do these things is appreciated. I really do enjoy seeing people be passionate and dedicated about something other people don’t give a second thought to.” 

Something that they collectively enjoy about the position is getting to see the band grow and improve over the course of the season. Friday night football games wouldn’t be the same if they weren’t there to conduct, motivate, and get the band ready for the halftime shows.