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Centaur Marching Band Drum Majors – Who Are They?

The first time I heard about drum majors, I thought they were drum players. It was a cool Friday afternoon, and the high school marching band had just finished practicing their halftime show. My friends and I, watching from the stands, marveled how much better they were than us. Going to meet the band, someone introduced himself to us as the drum major, and I asked, “So what drum do you play?” 

He laughed and said, “Everyone always asks that question.” It wasn’t until I got to high school that I learned what a drum major truly does.

The two drum majors this year are seniors Benji Corburn and Aaryan Sharma. Corburn is not only a drum major, but also the president of the AVPA Music department. He plays the trumpet and the trombone in a jazz group, and is the head audio engineer at CCHS. Corburn also DJ’s for private and public events. Sharma is a starting centerback on the CCHS soccer team, plays the clarinet and the saxophone, and is very academically focused. In his free time, he enjoys watching TV shows. Both of them take being drum major very seriously. 

Sharma says that the most rewarding part of his duties is when people ask for his help. “It makes you feel like you’re someone that others can depend on. Being able to be there for others is a big part of it.” As a member of the band, I cannot emphasize this statement enough. When I was a freshman entering the marching band, I was worried and at times had no idea what was going on. Having a resource like the drum majors there was amazing. Having two people who were approachable, who were students just like me in a position of leadership, was helpful but also inspiring. It made me want to become like them.

Wondering how this year’s marching season has been going so far, I asked them their thoughts. According to Corburn, the marching season has been going really well. The band has made a lot of progress and seems to finally be rebounding from the huge blow dealt to it by the COVID-19 pandemic. He said he is excited to come back in a few years after he graduates and see how the program continues to evolve. Sharma agreed and said he thinks audiences enjoy the music the band has been playing this year, which is a huge step up from last year. He thinks that the marching could use some improvement, but says that it has come a long way from last year. 

Coming into this interview, I wanted to know what the most important part of being Drum Major was. I had thought it would be a good sense of time or skill at conducting, but the answers surprised me. 

Corburn said the most important thing he does is the way he generally carries himself. “I need to conduct the band, I am the highest student leadership position, so I need to be a good role model for all my peers. I also have to make sure that people have a good time, but simultaneously do the best they can.” 

Sharma said that the most important thing in his opinion is communication. “If you want to create a good relationship with people and dynamic among the band, you need to have good communication.” 

Being a drum major seems very complicated. They have to conduct and lead the band, make sure everything goes smoothly, and represent the band to the best of their ability, all while juggling multiple other activities. As a band member myself, I can vouch that the drum majors are invaluable; without them everything would collapse. So, as I’m sure everyone who has attended a CCHS football game has heard, here is “the pride of Culver City, the Centaur Marching Band, led by Drum Majors Benji Corburn and Aaryan Sharma.”

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Leo Marcus, Staff Writer

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    Marla CorburnOct 18, 2023 at 7:38 pm

    Thank you for featuring our dedicated CCHS Drum Majors. Fun read and informative 🙂