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Student Showcase: Jose Marcano C/O 2017

Chelsea Clark, Reporter

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This week’s Student Spotlight belongs to Jose Marcano. Jose is a Senior and the Drum Major in the school’s band. I interviewed him to learn more about what he does.

The first question I asked was what exactly is a Drum Major?

“The drum major is sort of like a student coach in a way,” he began. “During a performance, everyone in the group relies on them to give the sense of pulse for the ensemble to play together, without it there would be huge sound delay between all the different parts of the music. Off the field, we offer advice for students and we mostly make sure that rehearsal is going to run as smoothly as possible.”

I didn’t take band, but over the years I’ve noticed that many people have dropped out of band. I asked Jose why this was.

“Normally when people quit a program it’s for the wrong reasons,” he countered. “A large chunk of our membership dropped from prior to the year starting. Band isn’t for everyone, it’s a large devotion of a lot of time. We spend so much time trying to perfect our product through the heat and rain and sunburn and soreness that sometimes, some people feel it isn’t right for them.”

I inquired how that affects him and the group as a whole.

He replied, “it does set the ensemble back usually, as it puts us in situations where all of our spots have to change, the music needs to be re-written or we just have to start over from square one. But in the case of this year, that hasn’t been an issue, the trajectory of the group has been nothing but upward from day one and I imagine it’s going to stay this way with Mr. Hobbs and his marching band staff.”

Thinking back to, “sunburn and soreness,” I asked Jose if he could describe summer band camp.

“Hot,” he stated, laughing. “It’s Florida, so yeah, it’s usually really hot. The rehearsal process is probably the most interesting component although, it’s a lot more complex than just saying, ‘Go make a square.’ The field is divided into a mathematical grid, in which each member finds their spot and has to memorize the vectors associated with traveling to each spot in an even size and number of steps. Failure to do so ends in a loss of the picture you’re trying to make, and doing this at fast tempos, while playing an instrument it takes some mental and physical demand.”

The bands’ last competition was coming up, and I wanted to know how they were preparing for it.

“Fortunately,” he responded, “Mr. Hobbs was able to arrange an all day rehearsal on Friday much like the drama and dance students do before their performances, so we got spend the whole day in sun,” he joked, “I mean stadium.”

On competitions:

[it is] “a panel of experienced judges who watch your program perform their show, and looks for signs of uniformity and good musicianship and weight control and physical endurance and mental focus in every single thing you do. You’re awarded a score out of 100.00 based on their assessments. We sat at 70.49, which is to say our show is 70% perfect, but we want 100%.”

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Student Showcase: Jose Marcano C/O 2017