Genetics of band: Marching to the echo of legacy, excellence

“Now introducing the Pride of Bryan, the Bryan Viking Band!” The announcer’s voice booms as the band takes the field and performs their showcase for 7 minutes. Those 7 minutes on Friday nights represent hours of practice. Early mornings and late nights come together into one audience pleasing performance – ‘Phobia’. The show would not be complete without one of the drum majors, Christine McCall. Christine is in an interesting position to help further the success of the band due to her brother, Cooper McCall also being a drum major last year.

“Christine is a head drum major which has a lot of responsibility,” head band director Jason Noyes said. “With her being a junior, it really shows that she knows a lot. It’s almost like she has been a drum major before because she has Cooper as a resource.”

Christine’s older brother Cooper helped her with the try-out process and has helped set an example of being a leader.

“Cooper and Christine are very encouraging and really driven to get things done,” Viking band vice president and woodwind captain Ruby Ross said. “They’re willing to go the extra mile and stay after to work with people because they really want what is best for the band.”

Band members contribute Christine’s success on the podium to her dedication, work ethic and heart for working with others.

“Christine is going to be an excellent leader in the band because she is putting in a lot of time and seizing initiative when she finds an opportunity to make the band better,” Cooper said. “She is motivated, helps motivate others, and cares a lot about the success of the band. “

Cooper influenced and motivated Christine in the try-out process, making sure she was well prepared.

“Cooper was one of the first people to encourage me to try out and coached me in the style of conducting for the audition,” Christine said. “After I was named drum major, Cooper continues to give me advice on how to better lead the band.”

Through Cooper’s leadership and Christine’s optimism, the band members have seen a rise in their spirits.

“Christine is a very positive person,” Noyes said. “She’s very encouraging so having that attitude, it radiates through and lifts the spirits of the band and makes everyone more energized and ready to go.”

A drum major’s position on the field is on the podium, front and center where they are in a good spot to influence the moral of the band.

“Being a drum major gave me an opportunity to lead a lot of people and set a good example for others,” Cooper said. “You don’t have to be a drum major to do those things, but being in that role made it more imperative to lead by example.”

The drum major is a very important part in the band’s success since they are the ones keeping time and leading the band through shows and throughout practice.

“Being a drum major gives you a larger perspective on the band,” Cooper said. “You can physically see a bigger picture from the podium than on the field, but you also get the opportunity to interact with a lot more of the band members because everyone in the band looks up to you and is impacted by your performance.”

The interactions that come with the position are important because of their role in teaching new band members how to march, keep time and how to balance band with school and other activities.

“I wanted to become drum major in order to better serve my band,” Christine said. “I wanted to lead people through setting an example and encouraging others.”

Christine has also paved her way through other leadership positions. Last year she was the band secretary which has helped her with the transition to becoming a drum major.

“Christine is someone who can solve issues. Even though it’s only her third year in high school band, she has a lot of good ideas and can make things happen,” Noyes said. “She is someone I can count on to get the job done. She is vocal and says what is on her mind, instead of what you want to hear. She has the ability to step up and say that something is not right, or when something is confusing. Having a student leader who is willing to say things like that is a big deal. She’s kind of a big deal.”

Christine and Cooper have both led the band with poise and enthusiasm and have helped shape the band. Christine feels that “drum majoring is genetic” and looks forward to the rest of this year and next.