The success of any group relies on strong leadership, and the Hoover Band has a triple dose of it. Senior Bailey Flores and juniors Nolan Rose and Harry Tidwell will lead their school’s talented student musicians as drum majors this season. Read on to see how their band journeys started—and what they have learned along the way.
Why did you first get involved in band?
Nolan: I joined band primarily because of the enthusiasm my mother always had toward her musical endeavors. She played the alto saxophone all through high school and shared her excitement for it with me and my siblings. When it came to me finally joining band in middle school, I was sure I would play the sax, although it didn’t turn out that way. I have played the oboe for five years and the alto saxophone for two years for the marching band.
Harry: I first got involved in band during sixth grade when I realized that I wanted to learn more about how to express myself through music. I started on the bassoon and continue to play it as my main instrument. However, I love to learn new instruments, so I have taught myself clarinet and flute over the past couple of years. I marched clarinet for two years, but I have yet to play the flute in a performance setting.
Bailey: I always thought that playing an instrument was the most amazing thing. When sixth grade came around, I already knew I was doing band. I saw the awesome trips they got to go on and how much fun everyone was having. I am a saxophone player, so I started of playing alto sax in sixth grade. In seventh grade I played tenor and fell in love, and that’s what I’ve played ever since. I got the chance to play the baritone saxophone in jazz band last year.
What have you learned or gained from being in band?
Nolan: I have been able to truly appreciate teamwork and the effects it has on the mindsets of the people involved. The relationships built through collective effort and motivation often form strong personal bonds that inevitably last through much more than the tests of marching practices.
Harry: Band has taught me how to make friends with students throughout all grades in high school. Band creates an environment from day one that encourages positive growth and friendship. Band has also taught me how to be a respectable leader. A leader should be someone who works with others and leads them, rather than telling them what to do.
Bailey: Music making and helping others make music is what I want to do as a career. With me now being a senior, I have the chance to help the younger kids have the best experience they possibly can, just like the seniors did for me. Band has also taught me how to be a better person and how to be more selfless.
What, in your opinion, are the best things about the band?
Nolan: Band is best experienced in the moment. The constant support felt through band is what really helps push the confidence and excitement. There is also a lot of comfort in knowing that all the people around you also choose to be excited and enjoy the overall experiences.
Harry: Experiencing amazing moments with your friends. Dancing in the stands at football games, playing funny games during bus rides to pass the time and having your best run through of a show or concert: All these things are minute, but these are the things people remember because they mean so much.
Bailey: Performing is the best part. There’s no feeling like marching out onto the field, pouring my heart into a performance and knowing I gave it my all. It’s a feeling that can’t be described.
What is your mindset going into this new school year as a drum major?
Nolan: I want every member to feel as comfortable as they possibly can. I feel that there should never really be a moment where the members of the band don’t believe they can totally express and enjoy their excitement on the field.
Harry: I am going to keep a positive mentality when days get rough. Some days can be difficult in terms of weather, or how much drill we can get done. I want my positivity to be contagious so that even during difficult days, the band still keeps an attitude that allows for learning and positivity.
Bailey: Since this is my second year as drum major, I will be center podium, which means I am in charge of tempo rather than watching another drum major. The main thing I want to improve this year is relationships between everyone in the band. I want it to feel like a family and for everybody to be comfortable being themselves.
What advice would you give to a younger band student?
Nolan: I would tell them to be as open as they are comfortable with being. Band is always going to be more fun if the members choose to be motivated and enthusiastic with their effort.
Harry: I would say to just make friends and soak up information. To me, freshman year is about taking in information and learning how to improve as a person and as a musician. While talking to upperclassmen can seem daunting, remember they were once in your shoes and will have no issue helping you.
Bailey: One thing I would say is to reach as high they can. If they are interested in jazz band, do it! As for things like drum major, it can never hurt to audition for it. I would tell them that they will get out of the experience what they pour into it.