On Friday, Sept. 23, Drum Major Riyana Roy (12) and Assistant Drum Major Yumiko Kasai (11) led the West High Entertainment Unit in a home football game against Redondo Union High School. (Art/Photo by Sullivan Kolakowski)
On Friday, Sept. 23, Drum Major Riyana Roy (12) and Assistant Drum Major Yumiko Kasai (11) led the West High Entertainment Unit in a home football game against Redondo Union High School.

Art/Photo by Sullivan Kolakowski

Major Responsibilities in West High’s Band

November 18, 2022

   West High’s band offers students the opportunity to experience being leaders in their own class. This opportunity comes in the form of the positions of Drum Major and Assistant Drum Major. 

   Drum Majors conduct the band, set tempos, and shout commands. In addition, they are in charge of planning band camps, practices, and rehearsals. Not to mention they are a middle ground between Mr. Banim, the band director, and the rest of the band. In Drum Major Riyana Roy’s (12) words, “It’s a lot of working with everyone because drum majors are in charge of everyone.”

   Both Roy and Assistant Drum Major Yumiko Kasai (11) have learned valuable lessons which help them apply this philosophy to their role as leaders. For Kasai, a major lesson has been “that everyone learns at a different pace.” Learning that everyone has unique skills, and using that knowledge helped her to “encourage everyone equally so that they can become the best versions of themselves.”

   As a second-year band leader, Roy has gained enough experience to define her leadership style. While many others choose to lead by example, Roy has learned that “leading by connection makes you such a strong leader.” This is accomplished through seemingly small actions like “addressing people by their name, because it means so much to them, [and] asking them about their day.” 

   All the effort the Drum Majors have put in has paid off. Their hard work created a friendly community; a family; an environment in which students are not afraid to express themselves fully.

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