The Talon

Marching Towards Success: Drum Majors Ramos and Pearson

Connor Merk, Reporter

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Marching band season is about halfway done with the 3 night a week practices, football games, and competitions on the weekend winding down. This year, the marching band was led by drum majors Cole Ramos (‘19) and Caroline Pearson (‘20). The drum majors have the duty of leading the band during practices, performances, and other activities.

Cole Ramos (’19) directs the Band during practice. Photo By: Bethany Davis

Cole Ramos

This is Ramos’ 4th year in the marching band. He has played several instruments, including alto saxophone and tenor saxophone.

Ramos says the most difficult part of the process to become drum major was conducting.

“We had to memorize certain tempos to conduct to,” said Ramos. “It was easier for me because I had actually learned from someone else awhile ago, but for some people it is their first time learning how to conduct for that.”

Once it was announced that Ramos would be a drum major for this school year he had to prepare for the job by attending a camp that lasted 5 days.

“It was a really good camp. The one I went to was in North Carolina. It was really good, they did not waste any of our time,” Ramos said. “I have been to several leadership camps before, but this one was actually good.”

Ramos says his past leadership roles and the leadership camp were the best preparation for becoming drum major. The best preparation in his opinion was being in leadership roles in the past and the camp.

“In terms of leadership stuff, the best preparation I had was being section leader last year, in which I had hands-on experience,” Ramos said. “The drum major camp taught me a lot of things, like conducting and some of the skills I needed. Leadership is something that I have built up over time.”   

Despite the season going well, there have been several things that the band has had to overcome.

The hardest things to overcome have been external factors, like I came in to talk to Mr. Gillette a week before band camp started, like 13 hours. We get all of this stuff done, and we learn that our parking lot where we always learned how to do the show is gone because of construction,” Ramos said. “We ended up being allowed by the baseball team to paint one of their outfields. There was a lot of random stuff that popped up, like weather and construction.”

There are several events still left in the year, but Ramos has one that he is really looking forward to attend.

“Band Together To Fight Hunger is always a great time. We see all of the other bands, which will be great to do because I have not seen all of the shows,” Ramos said. “We are so big of a band we are the last one to go at competitions, so I actually haven’t seen their shows.”


Caroline Pearson (’20) assists the band with marching their show. Photo By: Bethany Davis

Caroline Pearson

This is Pearson’s third year in the marching band. The instruments that she plays are Oboe, english horn, alto and tenor sax.

The most difficult part of the process of becoming drum major was working on homework pages at the drum major camp at North Central College in Illinois.

“At the academy that I went to, they made us do this huge homework book every night and we would get home at 11:00 at the dorms and we would be like ‘Ok, let’s get this homework done!’ Then we would go quickly and get 3 pages done,” Pearson said. “The next day we had to show them that we did it.”

Pearson’s favorite part of this duty is the ability to watch the band during practice and performances.

“Being able to look at the formations and hear the band is the best part, because when you are in the field you do not hear all of the parts,” Pearson said. “But when you are up there [on the podium] you hear it all and it is so amazing.”

According to Pearson, the most stressful part of the job is preparing for competitions. Pearson handles it by practicing outside of practice hours.

“Me and Cole practice outside of school which is nice, but mainly, I just take a few breaths and I rely on Cole and he always has my back,” Pearson said.

There have been many rewarding things that she has taken from this experience, but one that stands out to her is her transformation into a leader.

“It really teaches someone the transition from being told what to do to having to tell people what to do, and you actually have to start making choices,” Pearson said. “When we move on from high school to college, you go from being told raise your hand to go to the bathroom to having to make your decisions and start doing everything for yourself. This has helped me learn how to make choices for myself.”

Pearson’s favorite thing about marching band is that she is surrounded by friends who genuinely care for one another.

“The fact that by the end of the day you always have friends that will always be there for you,” Pearson said. “And you have a huge family, so if you have a problem one of them has probably gone through it, so you can go to them for help.”

This season has been filled with many highlights for Pearson, but the specific moment that she will always remember is the football game at Patriot High School.

“We played ‘Seven Nation Army,’ and then they played it back, and then we played it slower, and then they played it slower than us, and then we played it slow and sped it all the way up, and they played it really fast. We sang it and then they sang it. Then the stadium played it on the speaker. It was really fun.”

The 2018 assessment of the band will be at Liberty High School on November 3.

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Marching Towards Success: Drum Majors Ramos and Pearson