The student news site of Utica High School


The student news site of Utica High School


The student news site of Utica High School



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    Legacy to Continue

    Senior drum majors take their last steps on the turf, junior drum majors take the field
    Junior Drum Majors Lila Sapiano and Emma Phillips hang out in front of the band during the first quarter of a varsity football game.

    “Now taking the field for the first time since Oct. 19, 2019-677 days ago-ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the 107-member Utica High School Chieftain Marching Band,” the announcer shouted into the microphone, making the crowd erupt into cheers. Because of the summer heat, the band wore their summer uniforms as they marched onto the field in the view of all their family and friends.

    At the front of the band were senior drum majors Nathan Eichmann and Sofia Ricciuti and junior drum majors Emma Phillips and Lila Sapiano. They held their heads high as the announcer asked, “Drum majors, is your band ready?” In complete unison, they stepped forward, performing their salute just as they had practiced. The crowd applauded them again as the drum majors took the podiums.

    “Wow, I’m conducting the band,” junior drum major Lila Sapiano thought as she stepped onto the podium. She had been up on the podium for months, practicing with the band. This time it was real. Everyone was watching.

    “It’s a lot of people and it kind of gets to you,” Sapiano said, “but you have to keep saying, ‘sure, they’re all looking at me, but they’re also looking at their kids and who they came for.””

    Song after song, the band performed what they had practiced for months. Games came and went, and the band even marched at the Richmond Parade. Soon it was time for MSBOA. The same phrase had been repeated since their first performance: “Drum majors, is your band ready?” This was where it counted. The drum majors performed their salute one last time and stepped onto their podiums.

    You can see everything from up there. We got to see the progression from strangers to family.

    — senior Nathan Eichmann

    “There was a lot of pressure,” senior drum major Nathan Eichmann said, “but, in the end, you use that pressure to do the best you can for the band.” After an award-winning performance, saluted one last time before marching off of the field with the band.

    “Honestly, stepping off the podium for the last time, I didn’t feel anything,” Eichmann said.

    Junior Drum Major Emma Phillips salutes at MSBOA Festival.

    “It didn’t really hit until the band was off the field.”

    A nerve-wracking 30 minutes passed before the drum majors were called back to receive their division 1 award. As soon as the drum majors received their award from MSBOA, they ran back to where the band stood on the other side of the fence, victory in the air. As the senior drum majors took their final steps as drum majors, the junior drum majors were just beginning their journey.

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    About the Contributor
    Natalie Garwood
    Natalie Garwood, Photography Editor
    Natalie is a senior and this is her third year on staff. Along with being the Photography Editor for the newspaper, she is also the Editor-in Chief of the Warrior Yearbook.  She runs the popular Photo of the Day series on the yearbook Instagram @uhswarrior. Natalie has gone to Michigan Scholastic Press Associations Summer Workshop 3 times where she won 2 Excellence Awards and 1 Sparty Award. She runs lights and designs the playbill for Utica's theatre program, is a part of International Thespian Society Troupe #4260, and is also in National Honor Society.

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