Marching Forward in Band Leadership


The 2022-2023 Drum Majors standing behind trophies won at Elgin Marching Contest.

- Will Baillio, Writer

The Norman North Band’s 2022 – 2023 season is nearing its end, so it’s time to pick the new leaders for the 2023 – 2024 marching and concert band season. The positions available were the Uniform Equipment Managers, Band Historian/Librarian, Band Vice President, Band President, as well as Flute Section Leader, Clarinet Section Leader, Saxophone section Leader, Trumpet and Mellophone Section Leader, Trombone Section Leader, Tuba and Baritone Section Leader, Drumline Captain, Guard Captain, and last, but certainly not least, the Drum Majors.

A lot goes into the decision-making process for those who apply for these roles, and some of them are very, very, competitive. Each application requires a letter of recommendation from three, non-related adults, a minimum one-page letter stating your interest in the position and your qualifications, and then an interview with the director, tailored to the position you are auditioning for. The only leadership position that requires more audition material is the position of Drum Major. The Drum Major position does still require recommendations, a letter, and an interview, however, you are also required to teach the band a piece of music within a small amount of time, and then conduct the band through that piece of music. Teaching the music and then conducting it is actually a brand new change made this year. Previously, you had to perform a small marching routine instead of teaching the band the new piece of music, the conducting part has remained the same.

Another first from this year’s leadership auditions is how early they were held. As of now the new leadership has been, with a few exceptions, picked out and announced. Typically, leadership is done after OSSAA Concert Band Contest and then announced at the Band Banquet at the end of the year. This year, however, auditions were held before Contest and were announced soon after.

The Norman North Band’s upcoming 2023 – 2024 Leadership are President – Josh Riester, Vice President – Juel Niimi, Band Historian/Librarian – Addison Fields, Uniform Equipment Managers: Avery Britt (Captain), Juel Niimi, Isabelle Rivera, Jayr Ramos-Rangel, McKenzie McKinney, Katie Stanley, and Avery Hartman, Flute Section Leader – Olivia Friedemann, Saxophone Section Leader – Jayr Ramos-Rangel, Trumpet and Mellophone Section Leaders – Jett Bellows and Haili Taylor, Trombone Section Leader – Josh Riester, and Tuba and Baritone Section Leader – Bem Allen. The candidates for the Clarinet Sections Leaders are Avery Hartman, McKenzie McKinney, and Isabelle Rivera, but won’t be decided upon until after Drum Major Auditions. The Drumline Captain, the Gaurd Captain, and the Drum Majors have yet to be determined.

The Band is excited to be able to have their upcoming leaders be able to prepare for their service ahead of time, and can’t wait to see what next year has in store for them. As of right now, the Band is doubling down and putting the elbow grease in preparation for the upcoming OSSAA Concert Band and Jazz Band Contests. The band has had a killer year so far and can’t wait to end off with the best note, and the best leaders, they can.