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An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

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Senior Lenhart leads marching band as drum major

Brynn Drake
Senior Sophia Lenhart directs the marching band from the conducting podium. It is Lenhart’s job to conduct patterns and lead the band during games.

As the Midtown football team runs the ball down the field, the sounds of trumpets, clarinets and percussion fuel the electric environment. Behind this harmonious symphony is senior Sophia Lenhart, who directs the band while standing atop a six-foot-tall pedestal.

As a drum major in the marching band, Lenhart’s role is to lead the band and ensure their performance flows smoothly. Lenhart’s tasks span from conducting patterns and creating a compelling presentation to being a mentor for all band members.

“I’m the face of the band,” Lenhart said. “I lead it; I work on planning out conducting patterns and cool perks. We also plan out how to be the best leaders because the entire band looks to the drum major as an example.”

Junior Talia Pivoshenko is a co-drum major with Lenhart, and together they work to instruct the band while they perform.

“We are rhythm leaders and we conduct the band, while also making sure everyone is on task,” Pivoshenko said.

When sophomore Naomi Kester joined the band in eighth grade, Lenhart kindly welcomed her into the community.

“She just wants everyone in the band to do their best and be at their top level,” Kester said. “She’s very welcoming and nice to all the new people that come in. When I was in eighth grade, I joined the marching band and she was one of the first people to be friendly towards me.”

Lenhart’s deep passion for music has influenced Pivoshenko to be a better leader and player.

“Her dedication and enthusiasm are very inspiring,” Pivoshenko said. “She’s very talented and has had a lot of experience, so she has a lot to teach.”

Similar to Pivoshenko, Kester has looked to Lenhart for inspiration, both musically and personally.

“Sophia has made me a better player,” Kester said. “But since we are together a lot, she also influences me as a person to be better.”

Band teacher Carlton Williams has noticed Lenhart’s positive effect on students within the band.

“She’s a very good lead by example person,” Williams said. “Others gravitate towards her because they see her doing something and want to do it that way.”

As a drum major, Lenhart must sacrifice her ability to connect with other band members so that they don’t see her as a friend, but instead as their leader.

“Something I’ve experienced and had a hard time with is distancing myself from the band,” Lenhart said. “You have to show that you’re not one of their peers. You can’t be friends with them, at least during marching band time. You have to show you’re in charge, which is really difficult.”

While a necessary burden, Lenhart has found separating herself from the other students in the band to be challenging. 

“When you’re close with your friends, you see each other as equals, not like you’re in charge of them,” said Lenhart. “What’s been really heartbreaking and difficult is that I get to see all that bonding and having fun and I can’t really do that. I have to be separate from them; I can’t be making jokes with them. I have to be composed and really mature.”

In addition to her role as drum major in the marching band, Lenhart has played clarinet in concert band since third grade. Lenhart said her longtime dedication to clarinet has encouraged her to commit to being a charismatic drum major.

“My commitment to playing clarinet has contributed to my success as a drum major,” Lenhart said. “It’s been my life since third grade, but when I started taking lessons in seventh grade, I realized that this is what I want to do. Having the motivation to think that I’m going to make this great is probably the reason that relates to my success as a drum major.”

Lenhart said that the reason she works so hard is because she wants to expand the band and achieve a feeling of accomplishment.

“We want more people to join, and to make more people join, you have to look good and sound good,” Lenhart said. “But it’s also just something you can be proud of when it performs really well.”

According to Williams, Lenhart’s skill and proactivity as a drum major makes her a successful leader. 

“Sophia takes a lot of initiative; she’s not afraid to be in front of the group,” Williams said. “I don’t ever have to ask her to direct the band. Above that, her musicianship level puts her over the top as being one of the best leaders I’ve ever had.”

Lenhart’s drive for achievement has inspired students in marching band to be more ambitious, an effect that will remain prominent for years to come.

“The lasting effect that she will have on the students is the work ethic the students have in marching band,” Williams said. “That’s something that will carry on to the next drum major that we pick for next year.”

Lenhart’s drive for improvement has allowed her to effectively lead the marching band and guarantee that the band executes with excellence. 

“What compels me to be a leader is that I want to be really good,” Lenhart said. “When I think of people who are really good, they’re not followers, they’re the people who lead and can show other people what to do.”

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About the Contributor
Henry Moye
Henry Moye, Comment Section Editor
Henry is a sophomore that is very excited for his second year on the Southerner. Aside from working on the paper, Henry plays on the Midtown soccer team and competes with the Midtown debate team.

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