Drum ma­jors lead a mag­i­cal tune

Dorchester Star - - FRONT PAGE - By JACK RODGERS [email protected]­pub.com

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.

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