Neshoba’s Big Blue Band drum majors have key roles
From the football stands under the Friday night lights, it might look as if a drum major’s job would be easier than being a marching band member who must march in formation while playing an instrument on the field.
However, being a drum major is much more work than it might appear to the casual observer, said two drum majors for Neshoba Central’s Big Blue Band.
“We have to be an example to the other students like to show up on time for practice,” said Head Drum Major Destiny Kirksey. “Anything other students need, we have to be there to help them out with.”
On the field, the drum major’s role is to lead the marching band with vocal instructions, hand gestures or by blowing a whistle while carrying a baton. But, off-field, the part goes much deeper, said Hunter Adkins, the co-drum major for the Big Blue Band.
“Yeah, it’s almost like we are their parents,” Adkins said of the band members. “Like, if someone needs an instrument fixed, we have to fix it, or if someone doesn’t have socks, it’s our job to help them out and do as much as we can do.”
Adkins and Kirksey, both seniors at Neshoba Central High School this year, said they had long aspired to become drum majors and relish their roles in supporting the Band Director Robert Wade.
Adapting to difficult and stressful situations comes along with the job, as does communicating with each other to make sure both are on the same page. Seeing each other as equals has helped them throughout their competitions, they said.
Kirksey of the Longdale community is the daughter of Shayla and Randy Robertson, and she has a younger brother named Kamdon Robertson.
“My parents are very supportive, and my mom really became a soccer mom to allow me to do things like play sports and now do band,” Kirksey said.
Kirksey said her mother motivates her to strive to do better.
Adkins, the son of Melissa and Stayc Adkins of the Dixon community, has one sister, Kaylee Adkins, who played the saxophone for seven years with Neshoba Central’s Big Blue Band.
“I’m really thankful for my parents for always coming to every performance and football game and for always being supportive,” Hunter said.
Kirksey’s advice to younger students who might be interested in being in the band is “determination and practice go a long way.”
Kirksey said she had to learn how to be a drum major in a year, which took a lot of effort.
“Don’t settle to be the weakest link,” Adkins said in advising aspiring band members and drum majors. “Always try your best and never give up on yourself.”
Adkins plans to attend East Central Community College and further his band career, eventually going to Mississippi State University.
Kirksey hopes to attend Ole Miss and continue her band career there. She plans to march in college instead of being a drum major because she misses being on the field.
Both drum majors said they hope to influence current and future band students who wish to excel in Neshoba Central’s Big Blue Band.