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The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

A musician’s journey: Emily Choe becomes a Drum Major and gets into All-Northern Honor Band

Emily+Choe+poses+with+her+flute+while+performing+at+the+band+program%E2%80%99s+benefit+concert+on+January+25th.+
Emily Choe
Emily Choe poses with her flute while performing at the band program’s benefit concert on January 25th.

As Amador’s Marching Band and Colorguard Drum Major, sophomore Emily Choe has gone through many changes in her musical path over the last few years. 

Becoming a Drum Major

Starting as a freshman flute player in the marching band, she worked her way through the program, eventually trying out for the prestigious position of drum major.

With this year as an exception, only one new student succeeds in obtaining this highly competitive position each school year. A drum major is not only a conductor for the marching band but also serves as a leadership role. After an audition process, Choe received the role of sophomore drum major with another student, Athrv Gupta (‘26)

“I think being a drum major and going into the honor bands gives me a new perspective on music. As drum major, I’m able to see so many other parts of the band, not just the flute section when I was marching flute in freshman year,” said Choe

She faced many challenges as a drum major. She is the youngest on the leadership team, a leader in a two-team role for the first time in band history, and the only girl on the drum major team.

“I’ve watched [Emily] grow throughout the last marching band season as a person [and] as a leader…I’m just really proud of all the work she’s put in and I think she’s going to go really far,” said Drum Major Vardaan Singhania (‘25)

Getting into All-Northern Honor Band

In the winter concert season came the annual All-Northern Honor Band, a program where students learn from remarkable conductors and peers. The musicians go through an audition process to get in, a weekend of rehearsals, and finally a concert. 

Students in the All-Northern Honor Band can play with musicians of a similar skill level. Everyone could form new connections and help each other improve their instrument playing. 

Out of all of the musicians from Amador’s music program, only 16 students got into the All-Northern program, Emily included. She got in both freshman and sophomore year, despite the flute section being the most competitive as it has the greatest amount of students. 

“I think I was very proud of myself because I made it in as a freshman last year and honestly, every time I go there, I learn something new about music, how I can better myself in my solo music as well,” said Choe.

Emily had to balance her classwork, extracurriculars, and marching band with practicing scales and excerpts needed for the audition. 

“For [Emily] to have gotten into [All-Northern] Honor Band as a 10th grader is a huge achievement for her. I’m super proud of her. On top of preparing for this audition all fall, she was also handling the responsibility of being a drum major and taking her courses. I think it means a great deal and I’m very proud of her,” said Amador Band Director Jonathan Grantham.

 

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