The Woman in White


Nicole Pampena, Copy Editor

The name of the game this year was girl power, as every candidate for the North Hills Marching Band’s 2015-2016 Drum Major were girls. At the end of the annual banquet Sunday night, the baton was passed to Maria Clegg, a junior saxophone player who has been squad leader for two years.

Going into her fifth year of marching band and eighth year of playing the sax, off of the football field she plays for Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band on the hilltop. On top of that, twice has she played in the Allegheny Honors Band, PMEA (Pennsylvania Music Educators Association) Honors Band, and PMEA District Band. Last year, with the Wind Ensemble, she played in the PMEA All-State Convention and plans to attend its All-East Convention this spring. She’s also had the privilege to perform in a side-by-side concert with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Clegg has hoped to become drum major for the marching band since her rookie year in eighth grade, and as a senior, that goal has become a reality. “I told Mr. Lavelle a few months ago that I wanted to be considered for drum major next year and have been talking with him a lot about what my vision is for our band this upcoming season,” Clegg informed. She told of her excitement when her name was called and that she feels blessed to have been given the opportunity to lead an amazing group of people.

Mr. Lavelle, director of the marching and music instructor in the high school, expressed his enthusiasm as well, “I’m excited for next year’s band. We have a wonderful senior class with many strong leaders and I know that Maria will do a great job in her role as drum major of the band”

After the band’s trip to New York City this May marking the end of the 2014-2015 season, Clegg will have plenty on her plate throughout the following months. Some of these challenges include, of course, leading an entire band that comes with large shoes to fill, as well as throwing a baton three stories into the air and catching it. “I swear I was born without hand-eye coordination, so trying to catch it is going to be very difficult,” Clegg jokes.

While she trades in her saxophone for said baton, leaving her section is the only downside to the honor. “I love my section and am going to miss being with them so much. But I’ll still be around; they can’t get rid of me that easily.”

Overall, Clegg looks forward to getting to know everyone in the band better than she already does and giving them everything she has to give, even learning from them, too. “I feel honored to be given the opportunity to represent our band as the drum major and couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to spend high school with.”

Whether you’re in the student section, leaning against the fence, or sitting in the stands, be sure to keep an eye out as the woman in white takes the stand this fall.