The bands student musicians join — Part 2: Marching Band

Band2webFor musical students, there are many venues in high school for them to display their instrumental talents. Whether in the marching band, orchestra or rock band — there is a place for everyone.

This series is highlighting a student in each type of band. Click here to read our feature on Gabe Quinones, a high school student in a Rock Band.

Today we are featuring Marisa Shultz, student in the marching band.


Band1webMarisa Shultz, drum major in the marching band

By Allison Eatough

For more than nine years, Marisa Shultz has played the flute.

In that time, she always had her fellow flutists and band members to accompany her. Through advanced band at Pointers Run Elementary School and the Wind Ensemble, Pit Orchestra and Marching Band at River Hill High School, both in Clarksville, Shultz exceled at her instrument. She even picked up the piccolo and directed the high school flute choir along the way.

Shultz spent hours every week practicing, playing and marching with other student musicians, who became "like family," Shultz says.

But during her junior and senior year, Shultz stepped away from the comfort of her musician family and into a new leadership role: drum major for the 40-member River Hill High School Marching Band.

As drum major, Shultz directed band members on what to play and what time to keep during performances — all from atop a podium.

"It was one of the most rewarding experiences," Shultz says. "It's getting to see everything come together, standing before a group of people and helping them reach their fullest potential."

"Up there, you can see the big picture," Shultz adds.

While playing the flute taught Shultz how to feel the emotion in music and how to be a team player, being a drum major taught Shultz responsibility and leadership, she says.

"I learned about how much leadership is about experience," she says.

The highlight of her marching band experience came in November 2012, when the band performed at Disney's Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Fla.

Shultz marched and played the flute during the Hollywood Studios performance, and she led the band as drum major into the "Dreams Come True" parade at Magic Kingdom.

M. Joseph Fischer, music teacher at River Hill High School, says Shultz's musical talent and leadership will be missed.

"(Shultz) is one of the most dedicated and enthusiastic students you will ever find," he says. "She is also a great leader and an amazing volunteer. She is the type of student that you hate to see graduate."

Shultz is taking her passion for music with her this fall when she starts at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. She has already signed up to be a part of the 130-member marching band.

Music is a "huge factor" in her life, Shultz says.

"I had such a wonderful time with all of it," she says. "It's something I definitely want to keep in my life for a very long time."