Drum majors arrange new music for band

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Brandon and Yoona Lee sync their composing during the Homecoming assembly on Oct. 7. Photo courtesy of: WATCHTOWER.

Sophia Goldberg business manager

Aside from the normal fight songs during a football or basketball game, the band has begun to and continues to explore other, more recent songs to play during time-outs and halftime shows. Arrangements of songs such as “Closer,” “Can’t Stop the Feeling” and “All of the Lights” have already been performed at the many events where the band has played. The people responsible for integrating these pop songs are head drum major Brandon Lee and assistant drum major Yoona Lee.

Continuing a long-time tradition in the band, Brandon and Yoona have arranged various songs to work into halftime shows and other band performances at school.

“In the past years, drum majors would arrange music just because they wanted to. It’s not really a responsibility or a necessity; last year under Scott Senior I believe they didn’t arrange music,” Brandon said. “We definitely invite other band members to help arrange. [Junior] Evan Timmerman helped with a few songs. So I wouldn’t say it’s the drum major’s responsibility to arrange music.”

Yoona explained the process as a complicated set of steps to make sure the music works well for the band. At first, she viewed the process as intimidating, but now sees compiling the music as enjoyable and good for the band.

“The process was scary, because I had to make sure and double check everything; for example, I had to make sure parts were not too hard for certain instruments and/or sections. I also make sure [the music] sounds good for this band. Having people like the music and making sure Mr. Bradbury likes it are also very important,” Yoona said.

Both Brandon and Yoona taught themselves how to assemble the separate songs together into a cohesive performance, yet they had different experiences with learning the programs. Brandon Lee feels as though his knowledge of music helps him navigate through the process, while Yoona Lee has more difficulty than she expected when first learning arrangement strategies.

Brandon and Yoona also share the same incentives for learning how to organize music for the band: the music they were playing and learning was old, overplayed and not being played to the highest quality.

“I thought some of the songs the band was playing could have sounded better if there were tweaks to maybe, for example, the ending or something with the chord progressions,” Yoona said.

Brandon appreciates his fellow band members’ responses to the music he has created and sees his experience as “awesome.”

“It’s pretty awesome hearing the stuff I arrange, especially when my bandmates tell me how good their parts are,” Brandon said.

Yoona felt especially emotional throughout her experience arranging music. When the band played the music she had compiled during the last football game, she felt proud of and accomplished with her composition.

“It was the greatest feeling, honestly. Knowing that a 90-person band took the time to practice something I’ve worked hard for and actually perform it made me proud,” Yoona said. “It was also relieving because I spent probably four to five hours every night trying to create and edit the music.”

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