Drum majors march into action


(From left to right) Kate Thompson, David Appel, and Natalie Dziubinski stand in front of the performing marching band during a football game.

Mackenzie Rough, Staff Writer

There are approximately 165 people in band, but only 3 students to conduct and lead them, and while the marching band has its directors, it owes much of its success to its student leaders, the drum majors.

The current drum majors are Natalie Dziubinski, senior; David Appel, junior; and Kate Thompson, senior. The three of them work hard in order to conduct and lead the LZHS marching band, who play mostly during football games.

“It’s unique. It’s kind of stressful, but I kind of like the stress that’s associated with it. There’s not many of us, so if someone messes up, it’s kind of a big deal,” Appel said.

The drum majors have a variety of roles, and according to Dziubinski, while the drum majors’ main job is to conduct, they also help to create a safe, positive environment for performers.

“A lot of the planning and rehearsals are run by the drum majors. Usually there’s warm-ups, so we direct that and help teach the marchers,” Dziubinski said. “But what I really like about [drum major] is just creating a safe environment, where people can make mistakes and feel welcome.”

Dziubinski has been in band since the 5th grade, and is continuing her second year as a drum major.

“I first heard about it when I was a freshman,” Dziubinski said. “I just kind of saw them up there, and noticed how welcoming they were, and I wanted to help keep it [that way].”

Dziubinski also said that she would like to continue with band through college, and possibly even after high school.

Similarly to Dziubinski, Appel has also been in band since 5th grade, and took up marching band his freshman year, playing the clarinet. However, this is Appel’s first year as a drum major. He says that he considered taking on the role even as a freshman.

“I remember my freshman year in marching band, I looked up to them and I thought that it looked cool, like something I might want to do.”

According to Appel, the best parts of being a drum major are getting to conduct and perform during games and learning new music.

“The music, oh my gosh, the drum majors need to know it inside and out, we need to know all the different parts. Learning all this music is, I think, what makes the drum major role so interesting.”

Although being a drum major can be challenging and even “stressful” at times, as the drum majors have to be on top of several things at once, Appel and Dziubinski agree that the challenge is worth the fun.

“When I started conducting, I just loved the intensity of the music that we’re playing. The power that radiates from it is almost indescribable.”