Band Announces Leadership Team


James Yan ’18, Hamsini Nathan ’18, Daniel Shin ’18, Shelby Castleberry ’19. and Noah Zahm ’18 pose for a picture.

Ethan Lao, Yearbook Designer

The Westwood Warrior Marching Band leadership team was announced on Thursday, May 21. There were two positions people could apply for: drum major and section leader. While some got the leadership positions they were aiming for, others were upset about what they were unable to achieve.

The drum majors’ role during the marching season is to not only conduct the band during rehearsals, football games, and marching competitions, but also assist the band during rehearsals. During these rehearsals, the drum major sets an example and helps others to make the rehearsals run smoothly and productively. In total, 15 people applied for this position and underwent the extensive audition process. After turning in answers to 10 different essay questions, applicants were interviewed by the band directors. The day before the leadership team was announced, the applicants also went through drum major auditions, consisting of four different parts. Students had to teach each other certain fundamentals of marching, conduct without a metronome, conduct while singing the Star Spangled Banner, and conduct the first part of next year’s show.

“I felt pretty prepared,” Andrew Hearn ‘18 said. “Even though I probably could’ve prepared more, [I] went in to auditions feeling confident.”

Students were also able to audition for section leader roles.. Similar to the drum major applicants, they submitted answers to eight different essay questions and taught incoming freshman how to march. During this part of the audition process, applicants had to teach multiple incoming eighth graders a certain aspect of marching, with the possibility of three different topics. These included posture, taking the first step, and marching four steps and closing. Students randomly drew for their topic before their audition. Based on the student performances, the directors chose their top picks and interviewed them the week of the leadership announcements.

“I was really excited and happy when I got section leader,” Jason Math ‘19 said. “It’ll be a great experience and I look forward to getting to teach the freshmen, setting a good example for them, and carrying the future of the section.”

After the extensive audition process, the drum majors were finally announced. The junior drum majors that served for the previous year, James Yan and Daniel Shin, will be returning, and two other juniors, Noah Zahm and Hamsini Nathan, will be new to the role. Shelby Castleberry ‘19 took the final spot.

“At first I was shocked because I wasn’t really expecting it; it took me some time for it to register, and I don’t think it has completely registered yet,” Nathan said. “I thought all of the candidates were really good and I think it was a really hard decision for the band directors; they’ve told us that a lot before but I think I understand it more now. Next year, I’m really excited about conducting the stand tunes during the football games. I’m going to miss being a part of playing the music, but I think that being on the other side and actually hearing it is the most exciting part for me.”

Although some were able to achieve their goals, others who tried were upset that did not earn the spot. But, they managed to handle the situation well.

“I was still really happy because all the people who got the drum major spot were great friends and were all really great candidates, so it was kind of a bittersweet moment when they got it,” Hearn said.

The full list of the next year’s leadership team can be found here.