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Challenges drive drum major, band

Endurance and hard work pay off on the field as the band practices relentlessly through grueling weather conditions. Band members scurry to and from practices to assure a smooth performance. Melissa Jimenez, ’05, drum major, says band has played a large role in her life.

“I played the clarinet for six years, and then my junior year I decided to play the trumpet. I have been involved with music since first grade,” Jimenez said. “I really enjoy it and the challenges that it brings.”

Her dedication to the team and enthusiastic outlook has allowed her to become a leader on the field. She has skillfully taken on the role of drum major, leading the band through many successful performances. Her interest in becoming drum major was sparked in a unique way.

“I heard some guys saying that girls should never be in high command and that they couldn’t lead the band,” Jimenez said. “I took that as a challenge and it was on; I knew that I would become drum major.”

With each practice and performance Jimenez has upped her level of skill and learned new techniques to entertain spectators.

“I think I’ve gotten much better as adrum major over the last year,”” Jimenez said. “”It took a lot of practicing and upper body strength to become better, and I had to attend drum major camp for the last two summers. Last year I received two second place trophies, and this year I took home the first place trophy from Caruthers.”

Her experience as drum major has taught her new ways to lead and handle herself on the field. Her change in attitude has affected her performance level.

“I learned that I have to be confident and organized during any parade; it can truly make a difference in the way that the band performs,” Jimenez said. “I am learning to think on my feet and to remain cool in stressful situations.”

The success of the band has been a result of many hours of practice, ensuring that each member is on tempo, Paul McEntee, band director, said,

“The band is doing very well; compared to other schools our size there is no school in the Valley that can compete with us,”” McEntee said. “”Our goal is to see how many schools we can beat overall.”

McEntee attributes much of the band’s success to the leader found in their drum major.

“Melissa is a seasoned veteran.”” McEntee said. “”She has been through all of this before and she leads by experience. She has improved her ability to be more vocal in her leadership. We are having a great performance due to everyone’s effort.”

The band will strive to improve their performances to near perfection for the next parade on Nov. 6 at the Pismo Beach band review. For more information contact McEntee at [email protected] or call the high school office at 299-1695, ext. 131.

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