Marching Band of Palmer High School


Victoria Stewart & Arianna Ledington, Authors

PHSLever staff talked with William J. Palmer’s band members, specifically the marching band members, about the marching band itself. We talked with the three drum majors and some of the pit members. We wanted to know from a student’s point of view what marching band is like by asking specific questions to their section. It may or may not be as easy as others think it is.


We first asked the three drum majors our questions we have for them, Jack, Amelia, and Evie. We talked with them about what being a drum major is like and how it affects them. We wanted to know what it takes to become a drum major as well. Another question we asked them was what their favorite part is being a drum major. Jack Ouellette, a junior at Palmer High School and one of the drum majors, responsed, “Being a drum major is the most weighted roll in the band because of how many people are watching you. You can’t be the one to mess up; it throws off the band. It’s sometimes stressful to manage everything but I find a way. To be a drum major, you have to know your tempos and conduct well, but most importantly be a good leader. Without good leadership the band would go nowhere. Good people first and good musicians second. I like the friends I make and the skills I learn. Being a drum major has taught me a lot of stuff about how to be a good leader and how to work around many social issues. I absolutely love helping everyone that I can.

Amelia Chaves, a junior as well, had a similar, more supporting of the band, response to our questions: “Being a drum major is a lot of work. There is a lot of pressure in controlling the band and you always have eyes on you. Despite that, I love the job. I’ve been a drum major since sophomore year so it has been amazing to see my personal and professional growth throughout the seasons. Due to being drum major, I believe I have become more responsible, hardworking, and generally a better person. In a literal sense, you go through an audition and interview where you work tempo, conducting, etc. But contrary to popular belief, being a drum major is much more than waving your arms around. You’re also assessed on your leadership skills, commitment, and other abstract traits like that. Generally, a drum major is someone who is present, reliable, engaged, and enthusiastic. To get the role of drum major, you have to show you can do that and that you can do that the best. Watching the band truly become a band is my favorite part of the job in any sense. Not only watching the show come together, but seeing all the members grow as people is genuinely inspiring. Getting to watch that from 6ft up on a podium is even better.”

Finally, Evie Horvath, a senior, responded, “Being a drum major is a lot of responsibility, and it affects me in the way that I devote most of my time to band because of it. I do build a lot of relationships because of it so it affects me positively in a way. To be in the role of drum major, you have to be willing to learn quickly, adjust well, and take criticism. Being a drum major to me however I think it is the most important to be able to work well with people emotionally because you’re a huge role in the band. Being a drum major is a part of a team so in order to be a drum major you have to be able to work well with others. My absolute favorite part of being a drum major is the relationship aspect. I noticed that being in such a high position of leadership meant that so many people look up to me so I utilize that to treat people kindly and uplift them to create a good program.

We finally got to understand what it’s like to be a drum major at Palmer and to understand our drum majors feeling toward the band. 


Another section of the band we interviewed was the pit. The pit is the percussion section of the marching band, another key part for the band so they can keep tempo with the drum majors. Avery and Jaiden are members of the pit. Jaiden, a sophomore here at Palmer High School, responded, “With drum majors, you’re gonna have to listen to them so you know where you are in the music that you play… I am confident in the band because we do well .”

We also talked with a junior, Avery, whose response was, “The drum majors are fun but it’s also quite normal for us, the drum majors are our main metronome if we can’t hear the original one. Being in the pit is quite difficult because we have to memorize everything we play for the competitions and games, and, no one really helps us put away the instruments, they are heavy and big and no one helps us with them. I am very well connected with my peers in the pit, we talk a lot and we connect a lot, and it’s all just fun to be able to talk with your friends. During the first games/competitions, I’m not too confident in the band because it’s a brand new season, and things are new. But, later on in the season, I gain more confidence in the band because of our hard work”


After speaking with the students of Palmer’s marching band, we finally got to understand what it’s like being in marching band and their feelings about marching band. It seems like it is hard to be in a marching band and it doesn’t just take being able to play an instrument to be a part of it. You have to do a lot to handle being in our school’s marching band. The marching band is full of bright and amazing students but also very strong students, they devote a lot of their time to just marching band. Palmer’s band is truly amazing.