Drum majors lead a magical tune
HURLOCK — North Dorchester High School seniors Lexie Mills and Lucas Thorpe have pretty important jobs as drum majors in the North Dorchester High School Marching Band.
They direct the band, keep the group on time and are the mouthpieces for band teacher Mike Hughes.
“We help with class and passing out music, we conduct music,” Thorpe said. “We lead parades, we help with anything Hughes needs help with.”
Thorpe and Mills have been playing in the North Dorchester High School Band throughout their high school careers. Both had very different trajectories to becoming drum majors.
Mills said she began her band career on clarinet, but started playing the french horn when she came to North Dorchester High School.
“Basically, drum major tryouts came up and I was like, ‘O.K., maybe I can try something else,’” Mills said.
Thorpe said he had switched instruments a few times during his time in the band, rotating between multiple types of saxophone. Thorpe said he started on the alto saxophone, moved to the tenor saxophone, finally landing on baritone saxophone before being moved back to tenor.
Drum major tryouts are fairly extensive, having interested students play
a piece of music, lead the band in a song, among with other qualifiers; such as having the band vote for the drum majors.
“Then there’s a teacher vote and then there’s Mr. Hughes’ vote and the prior drum majors vote,” Thorpe said. “Then you have to lead the band outside, you have to be interviewed.”
Both Mills and Thorpe said their favorite marching venue would have to be Cambridge, as the band gets to compete. The North Dorchester High School Marching Band has a collection of first place trophies.
The band will be taking a trip to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in May, which is a highly anticipated destination for students, Thorpe said.
“You march around like, in Disney around the Magic Kingdom, so I’m sure it’s a huge thing,” Thorpe said.
In the future, both Mills and Thorpe said they would be switching to less musically inclined professions. Mills and Thorpe both said they enjoy their time as drum majors, but are also interested in other things.
Mills said she will probably continue with music into college, however, she is more interested in biology and medicine. She said she would study to become a physician’s assistant during her time in college.
Thorpe said he was interested in studying sports management when he makes the transition to college. He said he has always had an interest and a love for sports.
“I want to work in public schools but not in music,” Thorpe said. “I enjoy it, I just don’t have a burning passion for it.”
North Dorchester High School Marching Band drum majors Lucas Thorpe, left, and Lexie Mills hold two marching band trophies Thursday, Dec. 20.
North Dorchester High School drum major Lexie Mills leads the marching band at the Cambridge/Dorchester Christmas Parade Saturday, Dec. 1. Mills and fellow drum major Lucas Thorpe won best drum major at the parade.
North Dorchester High School marching band Drum Major Lucas Thorpe waves to the crowd at the Hurlock Christmas Parade Saturday, Dec. 8.