Jeremiah Koss


Towering over a sea of people, junior Jeremiah Koss raised his gloved hands to the sky, basking in the silence that enveloped the field. At his command, the music swelled and the band began to play.

Koss is the head drum major of the band and is considered to be the highest skilled leader. "I serve as a liaison between the staff and students, along with the other two drum majors," explained Koss. "I am our main conductor while performing a show on the football field, and must portray the idea of 'excellence' across the entire band program."

When Koss was a freshman, he marched with the band as a trumpet player, before advancing to one of the three drum major positions as a sophomore. He explained that his freshman year was the first year returning to normalcy after the pandemic, and over half the band had never experienced a marching season before.

"We started building the band back from there," he said. "Going into it now as the head drum major, I'm not on the field marching with them, but I get to see the show grow from the start of it to the very end; I take pride in that."

As well as practicing alongside the band, Koss has numerous other obligations. Stepping into such an important role requires dedication and an intense time commitment, but Koss remains up to the task. "It can be very stressful because I have no free time at all, and spend 18 hours a week practicing, on top of hours of homework and hard classes," he explained. "When students are doing visual practice, we [the drum majors] are out getting props onto the field, getting the music printed and getting a bunch of stuff done with staff," said Koss, explaining that it can be difficult when the band doesn't understand all that goes on behind the scenes. "If they aren't in my position, they don't understand the stuff that I have to do."

Despite the miscommunications, the relationships between band members are what tie the organization together. Koss explained that while band can be difficult, practicing alongside friends makes it worthwhile. "Going to marching band, I'm with my closest friends, so while I'm doing a lot of work, it's still relaxing because I'm doing what I love with people that I like," he said.

Outside of school and practice, Koss added that sections of the band will get together and form closer bonds, which only strengthens the quality of the band. "Those friendships just build from there," he explained. "My best friends are in marching band, so if I'm stressed, they'll coach me through it and be there to support me."

All the hours of practicing and perfecting come to fruition at competitions, where Koss is able to connect the puzzle pieces of the performance together. "It's a lot of work, but once I look back in November and realize how much work I put in it, and how many hundreds of hours, and I started that from nothing to putting on a 10-minute show on the field," said Koss. "Practice is rough, but it all pays off in the end, and I get the reward from it."

Story by Lily Saylor