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A ‘Reflection’ on the band program, starring Nick Sisson

December 18, 2019

The DGS Marching Mustangs, led by Nick Sisson alongside three other drum majors, performs in exhibition at the blue on blue scrimmage.

Jacqueline Sumida

The DGS Marching Mustangs, led by Nick Sisson alongside three other drum majors, performs in exhibition at the blue on blue scrimmage.

On the band side of things, we have junior trombonist and drum major Nick Sisson who’s been in band since elementary school. After a positive experience in middle school band, Sisson made his decision to join the DGS program.

“I first joined the band program because of my middle school teacher Mr. Balika. He made me enjoy band and I decided that it was fun in middle school so it should be fun in high school,” Sisson said.

Alongside the academic concert band classes, band students can also be involved with the competitive marching band and the pep band who performs at select DGS home basketball games. Sisson, a member of both of these organizations, describes the differences between each band.

“The difference I think is in the way we play music. In marching band, it’s a lot like concert band in that you’re trying to tell a story, but marching band has the added challenge of adding a visual to your sound, while concert band is all sound. Pep band is probably the most fun I’ve had at DGS, it’s just a group of people there to play loud and hang out while watching some basketball,” Sisson said.

To add to that, Sisson is one of four drum majors for the marching band. He emphasizes the work drum majors do so bands can win championships at multiple competitions during their short season.

“Being Drum Major has just given a much bigger appreciation to everything that goes on behind the scenes. Like a conductor isn’t just some guy that wildly swings his arms in front of a group of people holding metal and wooden tubes. They have to learn the peace and know everyone’s parts better than they do even if they don’t play that instrument.”

“It’s just incredible and gives me such an amount of respect and awe at all directors I’ve ever seen and will ever have the pleasure of working with,” Sisson said.

For some people, music isn’t just music. Music can be a culmination of love, hard work and pure enjoyment. To Sisson, that’s exactly what music is.

“Music to me is just something that I’ve always loved. I’m the type that after a movie will go home and re-listen to the soundtrack because I liked it so much. Music has always made me feel something and the reason I love playing so much is because I want to make people feel something through the music that I play.”

“ If I can make one person feel as sad, happy, or really just get them to feel anything then I succeeded in what I want to do with music,” Sisson said.

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