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Profiles on the Marching Royal Drumline

Malik Alexander by Roxy Sherrick

After performing at halftime, the band is standing, awaiting their signal to go back to the stands. A familiar beat catches their attention- the signal they’ve been listening for. This is played by drum captain Malik Alexander, a senior.

“I start off all the warm-ups at practice and instruct people where to go at games.” said Alexander.

Alexander has worked his way up to drum captain over the years, participating in the band since his 6th grade year.

“My band director was my baseball coach when I was in 5th grade,” said Alexander.

Knowing him from past years is what made Alexander interesting in joining the band in the first place.

“Being in the band got harder over the years,” said Alexander. “The music was more difficult, and the expectations were harder to meet.”

This didn’t seem to bother Alexander, however. Doing challenges are what helps him work to the best of his ability. This is why doing concerts are his favorite parts of being involved with the band.

“That’s when the music gets even more difficult. The challenges of [the pieces] makes them more interesting.”

Another challenge of being in the band is the heat, for Alexander, while he also has to carry his drums, which weigh around 40 pounds.

Some of Alexander’s favorite memories from the band over the years are; making all district in  his 7th grade year, and his Freshman year in the marching band.

“Meeting, and becoming friends with, all the people was definitely great, too.” said Alexander.

Alexander also thinks very highly of his current band director, Mr. Warnock.

“He’s awesome. He’s easy-going. But, you can’t take his kindness as a joke. He can get serious in an instant.”

Even after high school, Alexander plans to continue working with his musical interests. He plans to minor in music when he goes to college. His top four choices for this would be JMU, VCU, Virginia Tech, or Virginia State.


Shay Vandevander by Angelica Martinez

As the Marching Royals go across the street from the high school to the football field, Drumline plays a vital role in keeping them in time, as well as getting the band pumped. Senior Shannon Vandevander, a bass drummer for the Marching Band, helps in this.

Vandevander is the definition of a musician, and her knowledge is not limited as just a percussionist. She also plays flute, baritone, electric bass, and double bass. However, she is not stopping there, but hopes to learn guitar and clarinet as well.

This is Vandevander’s first year playing on Drumline, for last year she played an entirely different role. She performed with Color Guard for two years prior to playing with the band, and was Color Guard Captain her junior year.

“They are both very challenging physically,” Vandevander said regarding Marching Band and Color Guard.

Although music has been a part of her life since the 5th grade, Vandevander does not plan on making a career of it. She plans on majoring in either Chemistry or Language, and being an interpreter of German or Russian.

“Music will still always be a part of my life.”


Taylor Carpenter by Mallory Cox

Senior Taylor Carpenter takes a deep breath.  Recognizing the cue for her solo, she smiles confidently and begins to play.

Carpenter has been interested in music since she was 12.  As bass line captain, she is an important part of the school band.  She also does marching band and was recently in a rock band outside of school.

“I’m very versatile,” Carpenter said.  “I’m a quick learner, so I can play whatever instrument I need to.”  Carpenter regards 5 instruments as her specialties: alto and tenor saxophone, bass guitar, trumpet, and percussion.  Her favorite is tenor saxophone.  “In the music world, it’s considered kind of rebellious, but it’s a really pretty sound,” Carpenter said.

Music is a big part of Carpenter’s life.  She dedicates at least 2 to 3 hours a day to band.  “I’ve had to give up a lot of my social life to do marching band,” she said.  But it’s worth it to Carpenter.  “It’s made me a much better worker,” she said about music.  “It’s also helped me work out some personal issues.  It affects who I hang out with too, a lot of my friends are in band.”

As important as music is to Carpenter now, she doesn’t foresee it to be a huge influence on her career.  “I think it’ll be more of a pastime,” Carpenter said.


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