PHOTO BY VIVIAN NGUYEN, Senior drum major, Haoyang Zhou, leads his first parade at the Arturo Sanchez Halloween Parade on Oct. 15.

Drum major Zhou wows the crowd

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His heart racing and body aching, senior Haoyang Zhou takes a much-needed break from the  tiring work ahead of him. During his freshman and junior year, Zhou would spend hours and hours practicing everyday after school to become the drum major for the Matador band. After the pandemic, his freshman year was cut short and tryouts were put to a halt, but Zhou remained determined.

As a percussionist for six years and a member of Marching Band for four, Zhou’s passions and involvement in the band inspired him to run for drum major. As a junior, Zhou’s previous drum major experience from his freshman year helped ease the nervousness. Without anything holding him back – considering that this was the moment he had spent years preparing for – Zhou dove straight into drum major tryouts with valor.

“I applied for drum major during my freshman year and started practice during the following Oct.” said Zhou. “Two months before my tryouts, the pandemic came and everything was canceled. So, I had to try out again in my junior year.” 

After performing his routine in front of the entire band in May, Zhou was overjoyed when the results for the 2022-23 drum majors were announced. 

“I definitely felt relieved after the results. I started panicking about the results two weeks before they were announced. I felt that everything was worth it after I got drum major because I sacrificed almost all of my time to [become] drum major instead of studying for my AP exams,” said Zhou. “I also gave up the opportunity to run for ASB president because I wanted to dedicate myself to drum major tryouts. So when they announced it, I felt like I had nothing to worry about anymore.”

Although this is his last year, Zhou hopes to restore the band’s former glory back to how it was during his freshman year. Despite all the obstacles, Zhou deeply cares and wishes nothing but the best for all the band members. His huge commitment and upcoming plans for improvement promise a bright future for the Matador band. 

“I was in band since my freshman year and saw how the band suffered because of the pandemic,” said Zhou. “My biggest challenge would be trying to do the best for the band and having fun while still maintaining expectations. There’re a lot of things that I want to do, but they are simply not possible or difficult due to the band’s current status. Obviously, I’ve been frustrated by situations like these, but I am working on trying to fix them. Hopefully, things will get better throughout the year.”

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