Drum majors find their beat


Drum majors junior Catie Webb and seniors Cassie Meyers and Madison Joy conduct the band at the final home game of the season against Allatoona High School. It was the last marching band performance conducted by Myers and Joy.

The high school experience is incomplete without the marching band, which enlivens events from pep rallies to football games. Every role in the band, from the instrumentalists to the director is important. However, a select few students have the honor of conducting the band as drum majors. This year’s drum majors are junior Catie Webb and seniors Cassie Myers and Madison Joy. 

The girls cite different reasons that started them on their paths to becoming drum majors.  

Webb was interested in the leadership aspect and the act of conducting which comes with the role. She notes the encouragement of her friends as central to getting her to try out.  

“[My friends] believed in me and gave me the confidence I needed,” Webb said. 

Myers points to the influence of her freshman year’s drum major, Yejin Heo, as inspiration.  

“She really helped me become the person I am now,” Myers said.  

Joy’s incentive was her peers Myers and Webb.  

“I was inspired by the former drum majors like Cassie and also by Catie who was auditioning with me,” Joy said. 

The role of drum major can be a daunting one. Webb was intimidated by the prospect of being a leader in the eyes of the band she had spent so long with.  

“The whole band is in the same boat so it can be hard for some people, especially if you’ve known them a long time, to see [you] as their leader,” Webb said. 

Throughout Myers’ career, she worried about keeping her composure during high-stress moments.  

“I get stressed out really easily, and that’s something that you have to learn to hide,” Myers said. 

Joy struggled with the possibility of embarrassment that comes with such a huge responsibility but grew more comfortable as the season progressed.  

This season was a huge learning experience for me, and I left with so much more confidence than I had in the beginning,” Joy said. 

As for Webb and Myers, their friends can attest to their fears being unfounded.  

Junior Adam Hall, a friend of Webb, says her morale-boosting shone through in her performance as a drum major.  

“One of the jobs of leadership is to keep people motivated even during the difficult point of the season,” Hall said. “She contributed to this greatly, [and was] the best drum major she [could be] from frequent practice.” 

Senior Grace Bishop, a close friend of Myers, has been impressed by Myers’ leadership as head drum major.  

“[She] is the gorilla glue [to] marching band. Her passion and excitement for accomplishment is outstanding,” Bishop said. “The drive she has is very contagious, especially for the younger marchers. She is an inspiration and made the 2019 Chiefs incredible to be a part of.” 

While being a drum major positively influences others, this responsibility has also been personally rewarding for the girls. The experience of conducting is something the girls all value, though for different reasons. 

For Webb, it’s been a uniquely maturing experience.  

Being a drum major has made me be so much more considerate and conscious of my decisions; I used to act on impulse, but now I actually think about my actions,” Webb said. 

Myers has found a home in the band and is grateful for the purpose drum majoring gives her.  

“It’s just given me a place, whether it be just in the band setting or in high school in general,” Myers said. 

Joy finds that her passion for band has only intensified since becoming a drum major. She has also enjoyed watching the collective band efforts. 

“When I was actually playing an instrument, it was hard to see how much we were improving, but conducting the show made me notice how hard everyone worked all the time,” Joy said. “This year was special to me because I got to be a part of the whole entire band instead of a single section.” 

Webb’s love for conducting is all about the music and the friends that make it possible.  

I love being able to really feel the music through my conducting and getting goosebumps every time the band plays a hit,” Webb said. “Being able to do that with two amazing friends is also very special to me.” 

All of the girls share the same passion for music. For Webb and Joy, this means pursuing a career in music, possibly as band directors. But for Myers, the endless competition of the industry makes the matter a bit more complicated.   

“I’d rather keep music as one of my passions rather than something I do for money,” Myers said. 

Regardless of where life takes them next, each drum major will remember the camaraderie of being part of the band fondly.   

“[The band goes] through everything together so it makes it like a family,” Webb said. 

Joy similarly cares deeply about her relationships within the band.  

“Whenever I walk into the band room, I feel like I can talk to anyone in there super easily,” Joy said. “The Sequoyah band is my second family, and I love them so much.” 

With the senior year marching band season having ended, Myers knows being part of a band is something she will miss.   

[Being in band means] knowing that even if you’re really going through it, you’ve still got a whole marching band of people that love to see you,” Myers said. “It really tugs at the heart strings, especially when it’s time to leave.”