Major Reflection

By Joshua Nieman, Staff

Since the marching season has come to a bitter-sweet conclusion the time for reflection has come. The Marching Eagles have articulated their way through the competition, no doubt, but what absolutely cannot be simply glanced over are the figures that pushed them toward their continual success.

These leaders have kept a strong handle of discipline and encouragement over this large group of students, sacrificing their blood, sweat, and tears for the good of the show, inching it as close to perfection as was humanly possible.

Helmed and spearheaded by band director Tom Landrum and his hired staff, assisted by the student drum majors, the Marching eagles were a force to be reckoned with.

“We are determined. We are competing against some of the largest and most successful bands in the state,” drum major Katherine Bodkin said. “This hasn’t stopped us, though.”

Drum major’s act as the band’s visual metronome. Keeping them in time and cueing them into rhythmic changes when the time calls for it. They are second in command to the hired band staff themselves, fulfilling their wishes while also giving their own helpful advice to the band from time to time.

“I love the leadership and being the representative of the student body of the band,” Bodkin said.

Their job is essential for the band’s success. They are, quite accurately, the glue that holds the band accountable. Arguably the drum majors most important duty is conducting the band. They climb up on a tall podium, so that the band in its entirety can see their hands and then keep the Marching Eagles in time.

“It’s a lot of pressure to be responsible for the success of the band,” drum major Emily Stucky said. “You have to hold everything together and it can be scary to know people are always watching you.”

On top of being the center of attention during practices, the process of bettering the band can be quite tedious for some- doing the same things over and over, lasting hours-on-end on occasion.

“I wish I’d known just how much goes into making the finished product of the show,” Stucky said. “I feel like everyday I learn about something new that happens during practice.”

Along with the impressive work the students of the Marching Eagles put in, the organizers and coordinators of the show early on in the process of planning are always finding ways to change the game or be unique.  Finding ways to push the boundaries always make for an interesting show.

“Having a show that is unique and stands out is very important.” Bodkin said. “Marching band has evolved over the years to be much more complex of an activity than just marching forwards, backwards, left, and right. You have to include unique elements to win over the judges.”

That being said Tom Landrum and his staff have done their work to make the show new and fresh for the judges, and general audience alike. They accomplish this through the use of striking colors on the uniforms and flags, exciting props, and the strong use of dance and choreography.

“Our third movement is mostly dance and not so much marching, which is really different from our competition,” Bodkin said.

Stucky agreed.

“I would describe the marching band as trendsetting,” Stucky said. “Our staff members told us that the elements we’re adding to our show are unprecedented in the world of marching band. Plus, our band has so many quirks and traditions. Its amazing to be a part of Marching Eagles when they’re changing the game of marching band entirely.”