Band members take new leadership positions
Kate Pullen and Aubrey Werner
In order to prepare for the upcoming marching season, the White Oak High School Regiment of Roughnecks began two-a-days on Monday, August 1.
“I let the seniors have more control this year because a program only gets better when the people inside it actually take ownership for it,” Steele said.
As the new seniors stepped up, the band experienced multiple changes. Many leaders took charge of practices, made sure the sections did as they were told, and taught the new band members how to march.
“This year we are not just seen as their friends,” said senior Destinee Aaron. “We have made sure we are training them properly, but also so that the underclassmen know we are here for them if they need help with homework or just to talk. They definitely respect us more as leaders and that works well for everyone.”
With big shoes to fill, junior Morgan-Taylor Thomas has various responsibilities as the new drum major. Instead of Steele or auxiliary director Donna Jennings instructing Thomas what to do, she figured it out as she went and guided the band to do the same. It is her obligation to not only direct the band, but also to make her own routine to fit the band’s.
”As drum major, it’s more of a test of responsibility,” Thomas said. “No one really tells me where to be or where to go. They expect me to know for myself.”
The freshman have gone through changes along with everyone else. High school band differs extremely from the middle school program. In middle school, the students don’t have to attend after-school practices, pass music off, or march. The new high schoolers now have to do all of these tasks.
“High school band is more fun and a lot more serious,” freshman Luke Weathers said. “But it is kind of more confusing.”
Along with senior leadership, Steele decided to make pass offs a top priority. In previous years, pass offs were quick and easy grades, but now, if you don’t pass off the music, you don’t march.
“[The pass off chart] will help us keep each other accountable and liable for our music,” senior Sara Robinson said.
This year, the band will not be competing in any major competitions. Instead, the band is working on building a stronger bond between each other.
“I’m thrilled to see what our band will pull off this year because of the amount of hard work being put into it.,” junior Addie Roling said. “I feel like this year is a preview to how we will perform next year when it comes time for state.”