At the end of my sophomore year, I applied for percussion section leader. This involved filling out a questionnaire sheet, writing an essay, and completing a 5 minute interview. Unbeknownst to me, I would receive the position and the many responsibilities that come with being on band council.
That summer, I pored over the many possible ways my co-leader and I could improve our section. Managing a total of fourteen other people is not simple in any sense of the matter; however, I luckily have a co-leader, which many section leaders do not. Our responsibilities include: helping to load and unload drum cases on and off a trailer, fixing and tweaking equipment, counting off cadences and rolloff, teaching technique and rhythms, etc. Despite the extra set of responsibilities, band council is both compelling and rewarding.
The following interview was given by a Juniata High School band council member and has been edited for length and clarity:
What is your name and what do you do within the band?
My name is Karrigan Zeiders, and I am a drum major. I conduct the band in field shows and parades.
What instrument(s) do you play?
I play the tenor sax and the bass clarinet.
What is your favorite and least favorite part of your job as a drum major?
My favorite part is hearing the band play from the front instead of individual parts, if that makes sense. My least favorite part is that there’s so many of us, and it just gets crazy and chaotic during rehearsals.
What is the hardest part of being on band council?
Getting people to pay attention to you.
What is your favorite band camp memory as a drum major?
There are so many good memories; one was throwing water balloons at our band director.
Is there anything else you want to add?
[Being on band council] is a great experience; it teaches you responsibility and leadership, and it’s a lot of fun.