“Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken,
or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impacted on you.”
I would like to think I have achieved a number of wonderful things throughout my high school career; but my proudest achievement has to be becoming Drum Major for the Cranston East Thunderbolt Band. Though we are the only Rhode Island band that competes we strive for excellence and setting an example for not only our freshman band members but for our rival band as well. It has helped me “break out of my shell,” and become not only less shy but a better leader. Not everyone gets the chance to travel throughout New England with their closest friends and play music or compete in MetLife Stadium (Giants’ Stadium) in New Jersey.
The journey to becoming Drum Major was quiet a long one. I began band freshman year and I watched as our then current Drum Major Kristen conducted. I joked to my friends that one day that was going to be me but I knew I was much too shy. The thought leading and directing a large group of my peers was terrifying. I dismissed that dream but not entirely; in the back of my mind I made sure the way I presented and conducted myself was Drum Major worthy.
Over the next two years I committed myself to band, making it a point to being at every practice, sectional, game, and competition. I put all my energy and time into making myself a better musician and setting an example for my fellow band members. I wanted to make sure the directors knew I really cherished our music program and I wanted it to excel in the upcoming season. Without much consideration I switched to an instrument the group really needed (Clarinet – Baritone) in February and practiced daily and by June I could already play the upcoming fall’s show music. June was also the time to apply for leadership positions, I was apprehensive this was out of my comfort zone but it had always been a dream of mine.
I submitted my application for the Drum Major position, stating my love for the group, change in instrument, and commitment to the music program. When discovered I made Drum Major I was in awe but nonetheless ecstatic. I would lead the band into MetLife stadium, travel the region playing with some of my best friends; but more importantly I put my shyness aside to reach one of my dreams.
I do not regret my decision one bit. If anything I want to include music in my life even more and plan to participate in Jazz Ensemble on yet another new instrument – the trombone! The Cranston East Music Department had changed my life and definitely impacted my high school career in a positive way making me more confident in myself as a student and as a leader.