Drum major Claire Throckmorton hopes to defend title

Helena Hong
staff writer

Last April, Claire Throckmorton auditioned for the position of the drum major in marching band. After four years of being in the band and striving to be a dependable member, she earned the spot of drum major for this school year. “I’m ecstatic to be the drum major of this marching band. It has been my dream since freshman year and I can’t wait to help make this season great,” senior Claire Throckmorton said.

Junior Matthew Hou plays the saxophone in band and praises Throckmorton. “Claire’s a passionate band member who cares about the band a lot and always wants us to do the best,” Hou said.

The marching band is relatively new at our school, beginning its journey in 2014. The start of the band was average, placing in the middle of states and nationals. In 2017 the band was undefeated until nationals, where they placed second by a fraction of a point. That loss pushed them to work harder the following year, allowing them to win states and then nationals by three points, a large margin.

Competitions are always nerve-wracking, as the stadium goes quiet and the band members hold hands, waiting for the winner to be announced. However, Throckmorton feels excited for this season. “Competing unites the band and makes us one big family. The thrill of performing and subsequently waiting in awards ceremonies are the best parts of the season,” Throckmorton said.

Junior Alyssa Herman admires Throckmorton’s attitude as leader. “Claire is amazing as drum major because she’s always super positive and respects other people’s opinions. She makes everyone feel good about themselves,” Herman said.

The band’s rehearsals start in the beginning of summer, meeting from two to five times a week, for four to eight hours a day. During the school year, there are rehearsals on Mondays and Thursdays, music rehearsals on Tuesdays for the football games and they meet an hour and a half early on game days to get dressed and warmed up. Competition days, which are every Saturday, take up the whole day, as the band is rehearsing and traveling throughout the day.

Despite the rigorous and intense aspects of being in band, the hard work pays off. “Band is worth the time and tears. Performing the show to the best of our ability is one of the best feelings in the work and it’s always worth the pain. Practice can be very difficult and tiring more times than not, but in the end it is all worth it,” Throckmorton said.

Sophomore Nathan Pak is first trumpet in band and admires Throckmorton’s leadership. “Band is a lot of work but Claire keeps us together, encouraging us to keep going and to work harder. She always wants the best for everyone,” Pak said.

Throckmorton encourages everyone to join marching band. “People should join marching band because it’s an activity where everyone truly has an equal role. We have no bench, unlike most sports teams. Everyone is important to the show. We also spend so much time together that it’s hard not to become close friends with everyone. In short, join the band and find a family in school,” Throckmorton said.

Marching band’s first competition was Saturday, Sept. 14.

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