The Palmyra High School marching band has two new drum majors heading into the next competitive season. Senior Katie Sacca and junior Braayan Morales will be leading their band on the field armed with the training they recently received attending an intensive, four-day summer camp program in West Chester, Pa.
While the two students are new to the position of drum major, they are both marching band veterans going back to middle school. Morales started in seventh grade playing trumpet, and Sacca started as a director in seventh grade and transitioned to playing alto sax her eighth-grade year. As is often the case, both students’ interest in marching band was sparked by an older sibling who joined before them.
Sacca has now become that older sibling for her younger brother, who is joining her in the band this year.
In addition to now having an immediate family member in the band, Sacca says the whole group is like its own family unit at school.
“Everyone has everyone’s back there, that’s one thing I like about it,” said Sacca.
For those unfamiliar with the role of a drum major in a marching band, Sacca and Morales describe the position as not just helping the percussion section keep tempo during a performance, but as a leadership role for the band as a whole.
“You’ve got to be confident about everything you do,” said Morales. “Even if you mess up you have to just keep going with it.”
The students attended the George N. Parks Drum Major Academy at West Chester University from July 22 to 25. There they joined other soon-to-be drum majors from several other schools in training. A number of the people they trained next to will be marching against Palmyra at the annual Cavalcade of Bands competition.
Sacca says they hit the field almost as soon as they arrived and began working on different styles of marching, conducting and commands.
According to Morales, a portion of the camp experience was learning about taking on a leadership role within the band and the importance of having that kind of figure in the group.
Both students are looking forward to the upcoming season and performing in their new roles.
“I’m getting really excited for this season, I just can’t wait to see how everyone is going to show their performing and playing,” said Sacca.
“We have a really good team this year,” said Morales. “We have a lot of talent.”
The students’ trip was largely financed by fundraising efforts organized by the Palmyra Band Boosters group. Throughout the year, the group organizes car washes, spirit nights, an annual craft fair and an annual Welcome BBQ.
The Welcome BBQ will be taking place Aug. 14 in the high school parking lot. The next band car wash is scheduled shortly after for Aug. 27 at Legion Field. The annual craft fair, the booster’s biggest event, always takes place the first Saturday of December.