Conducting the way to autumn

Band members audition for the chance to be one of four chosen to lead the band for the next marching season

Daniel Lackey, Staff Writer

4:10 pm:

The commotion of huddled voices bounce around the band hall as student instrumentalists fill the room soon after the blaring of the last school bell on April 29. Shortly, the time would come for thirteen students to shed the stress and anticipation that had been clinging on to them since initial preparation on April 10.

For a select four, however, a new type of burden will replace the old: leading the entire marching band.

4:45 pm:

The thirteen candidates take their seats. Each one takes advantage of the precious moments they have to themselves before tryouts start by conducting sequences, practicing stances, and reciting what they plan on saying. Head band director Matthew Boening steps up to the podium, provides a brief introduction to the gathered students*, then commences the showdown.

One by one, the candidates stride on over to the front of the hall when their turn arrives. They must exhibit knowledge on how to conduct in three different time signatures with a metronome on top of how to perform the Ranger alma mater and fight song, both of which are played by the spectating students.

5:45 pm:

The thirteenth auditionee closes the first checkpoint. Two more components are left. Next, based on what they witnessed,  the other band members who watched and played are required to rank the candidates from one to thirteen. To end on a high note, the candidates must partake in an interview led by a panel in the conference room in the library. By gauging their responses and conducting skills, as well as the opinions of the players who were present in the hall, the directors’ picks are made.

7:50 pm:

The wait is over. Mr. Boening announces the results to the participants who stayed to find out. The final four students who will conduct the Ranger Band during the 2019-2020 season are:


  • Junior Rileigh Mccullough (Tuba)
  • Junior Gabi Wilson (Flute)
  • Sophomore Maya McBrayer (Flute)
  • Sophomore Lindsay Pattison (Flute)





* Band members who are contenders for other leadership roles the band has to offer such section leader, quartermaster, librarian, etc.

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