Letter to the Editor: The Journey

Image: Summer practice

Summer practice

My name is Madison Washington, I am currently a sophomore at Italy High School. During this current school year I served as the assistant drum major for the IHS Gladiator Regiment Band. I assisted Drum Major, Emily Stiles, in a phenomenal marching season and just as successful concert season. Last year, when I tried out for drum major, I had no idea what I was getting in to.

After months went by, I gradually got into the feeling of being not just a leader of the band, but serving as a leader of the community. Trying out for a leadership position was just a small portion of a many challenges I have ahead of me. My goals in life are to serve God, go to college, and persue a career that I love for the rest of my life. Those are long term goals but my short term goals include keeping my grades up, do my best in everything I do, and to make everyone around me happy.

As summer died down and school was only a few weeks away, we (Emily Stiles, Gus Allen, Reid Jacinto and myself) had the fantastic experience to attend a Drum Major camp at Mary Hardin Baylor University in Belton, Texas. We learned how to conduct and how to truly be a leader. After the camp concluded, we all did our best to show our skills and use them to our advantage. Summer band was the time for this. From when summer band started and to when it ended our band worked extremely hard for very long hours some days. These long hours of hard work out in the hot Texas sun were worth it because every band member improved this last year in everything they did. They improved outside of band also.

With all of this said, I couldn’t of done one tiny thing without my band directors, Jesus Perez and Erica Miller. They have helped me make decisions but they have also made me make some of my own. When they chose me to be assistant Drum Major last year, I realized that they looked upon me as a leader. I had to prove to them right then that they had chosen the right person for the job. As assistant to Emily Stiles during this school year, we were unbreakable even at the hardest times. Being Drum Major is my passion and it is what i love to do. The obstacle’s they planned out made us both stronger in our leadership skills. I thank them so much for what they have done for me and everyone in the band program.

Through leadership tryouts for this coming up year, they have most helped me make decisions for myself and what would most benefit me for later on down the road. This year I have decided to tryout for Head Drum Major, assistant drum major and brass captain, as have several others. I was very indecisive about what I wanted to be leadership wise in the band this year. As I checked all three, I realized the directors would make the best decision when it came down to it.

With decisions being made in the next week and many more surprises from the band program coming up, I ask everyone that is involved with band to stick in there and stay with us. We have such an exciting year ahead of us and I would hate for anyone to miss out because of a silly mistake. Our future ahead of us is bright and we need your help to make it shine even more. Thank you to everyone that has done anything to help and support our band. Band boosters go out of their way every time we need something and they never let us down. Thanks to our fans and our parents also for always cheering us up when we are down, taking us to practice and picking us up, and simply telling us how great we did.

With all of this combined, many things look great for us. Skill and talent will make us excel in everything we do with dedication. The love we have for playing an instrument and the joy we have of being under big lights makes all of the hard work pay off when we are awarded with a standing ovation. Working together is how we will accomplish our goals. Together we have done many amazing things over this last year in band but the 2013-2014 school year will be a new year for the Italy Gladiators. We will not only accomplish our goals but we will exceed them to things no one could of ever imagined. This takes:

  • Strong attitudes that could never be brought down
  • Taking time and having dedication towards band and our grades in school
  • Acting with dignity and respect to everyone around you
  • Take charge and
  • Expect to work hard even when your tired because it will pay off in the end.

Keep these five things in mind and follow us on our journey next fall to the state competition.