Every year, our school’s marching band is led by a student known as Drum Major. In short, they are captain figures for all of the band, including Drumline and Color Guard. Every year during the second semester, the band has a competition all the band members can participate in.
This year’s three contestants were Andrew Leyva (11), Cesar Mora (11), and Kaitlyn Franco (10). Each has their own reasons for wanting to run, whether it is a personal or professional reason. When asked why they wanted to run for the position, a direct goal is what the three had in common.
“I want the band’s success, seeing everyone within the band succeed would only motivate me more to push them, as a leader should,” said Leyva.
“I wanted a challenge,” said Mora.
“Breaking out of my comfort zone was definitely a big reason, being a leader in the band would help push me towards that goal,” said Franco.
Besides the goals and reasons for running, being drum major is definitely not just sunshine and rainbows. Farut Gallegos (12), our current drum major, can confirm. The candidates agreed.
“It is a demanding position, you have to make decisions that not everyone is going to like. Being a leader of that many people is never easy, and it will definitely take a toll on the winner,” said Gallegos.
“Thinking about it is already nerve-wracking. Band is a student-run thing; being a teenage leader in control of the band, drumline, and guard is definitely hard and you’re risking your own mental health. Everyone’s eyes are on you,” said Franco.
“It’s time-consuming,” said Leyva.
The pleasant thing about the auditions is the contestants’ respect towards each other. Two even had words of genuine advice to their competition.
“Take it seriously. Dedication is so needed in this competition,” said Leyva.
“Try to overcome the anxieties you have,” said Franco.
The results of the contest are usually announced to the band during their annual Knott’s field trip and this year was no different. Upon arrival, the current assistant drum major announces the new one for next year and the current drum major announces their new drum major as well.
While the band kids watched in anticipation, the 2021-2022 assistant drum major, Angel Chavez (12) announced the 2022-2023 assistant drum major. Cesar Mora graciously accepted the new title and victory.
Gallegos was called up to the three contestants to announce his replacement.
“You all know him, you all love him, Andrew Leyva!,” Gallegos said.
“I would like to say that I’m very grateful and happy that I was able to get Drum Major. It shows me that others see me as someone they want to lead them and I’m very proud to say I will lead them all next school year. I’m very proud of all of Band, if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be able to get this position,” said Leyva.
The 2022-2023 drum major is officially Andrew Leyva and the assistant is Cesar Mora.
Congratulations to them for winning such difficult titles!