Managing the Marching Knights


Gabriela O'Brion, Staff Writer

If you walk into the Robinson High School Band room at any time during or after school, you will immediately be surrounded by waves of noise so thick, it seems like you could pull them out of the air with your bare hands. Random passers-by might think that it is complete and utter chaos; however, once you begin paying attention, you will notice certain students organizing the chaos: the Band Leaders.

“When you’re in a position of leadership, you feel responsible for other people,” said junior Ryan Gingrich, equipment manager. “You feel responsible for the success of the entire band.”

Holding a leadership position is an opportunity to build friendships, character and a stronger connection to the band itself. Leadership positions include band captain, drum majors and section leaders for each instrument, as well as several others such as librarian, historian and secretary. Each position has a different job description; you may have to guide, teach, and even supervise your peers.

Although it may seem surreal at first, overall, the those that have held leadership positions say the experience can be entirely worth it. Senior drum major Charles Ford feels the experience has made him a better musician.

“I get to interact with them with a different perspective,” Ford said. “I’m not playing an instrument: I’m teaching. It helps me interact with other students more.”

Despite the positives, being a leader can also cause some problems. Directing your peers can be a tough job and balancing your ‘work’ and social life isn’t always simple. Junior section leader Jonathan Sims says it is not always easy to give out constructive criticism that doesn’t seem bossy or rude, and other students might begin to resent a fellow classmate for it.

“Some people hate my guts,” Sims said acknowledging the complications of his position of tuba section leader.

A leadership position for the Marching Band can either build or break relationships — possibly both — but whatever happens, it connects students to the band in a way unlike any other. The general consensus between all of the student leaders is that band leadership is a great experience. Students who are leaders highly recommend it; those who aren’t aim to be.