Bryce Culberson Finds Success as our AHS Drum Major


Fiza Nadeem and Makenna Raiford

As football season rolls around, Bryce Culberson, senior, conducts Armuchee High School’s marching band. This is Culberson’s 5th year in marching band, and she also plays bass clarinet. “Music has always been a big part of my life, and being given the opportunity to make it, sparked my interest,” said Culberson. Conducting takes a lot of skill and practice, “I learned how to conduct from multiple instructors. Conducting is an art and everyone has their own style.” said Culberson. Practicing for marching band, and practice as drum major are drastically different, “As I stand on the podium, I focus on my conducting and my emotions displayed to the band as I would want to hear from them.” said, Culberson. “Friday nights are stressful as a drum major although they are super fun and exciting.” On Fridays, Culberson practices her conducting and listens to music to calm her nerves.  As a drum major she is responsible for the show to run smoothly. Culberson said, “My favorite feeling is when you performed and you know you had a good show,” 

Throughout your marching band years, you learn and perform many songs. Culberson’s favorite song she has conducted is “Rise Up.” “This has been one of my favorite songs in the past and to hear that we would be playing it for my senior year, was amazing. It is such an inspirational song that most people can relate to. The song is all about overcoming the difficulties in life and that’s exactly what our marching show is about.” said Culberson. 

The marching band plays a huge role in our school. They play in the stands at every game, entertain the crowd when performing their show during halftime, and play at pep-rallies. The marching band is the largest student group, as it consists of over 100 members. With this many members, student leadership plays an important role in the band. The drum majors have the duties of conducting the band, disciplining, and help members how to march and learn their music.

The tryout to become a drum major began with submitting an application to the band director. After that there was an interview. The final portion of the process was when the band members were asked questions that expand on the ones on the application.

Bryce Culberson, senior, was an assistant drum major last year, and this year she is head drum major. “Drum major has changed who I am as a person. I have matured mentally which has helped me succeed through high school, and in the real world,” said Bryce. For her, the hardest part of the process was showing that she has confidence in front of people. Once it was announced that she was going to be one of the drum majors, she then had to prepare for the position.

If you are new to band, Culberson said, “Don’t give up, the beginning of marching band will always be the hardest but if you practice, it will get easier.” There are many positive impacts of being drum major, Culberson said, “The best part about being drum major are the life lessons that you learn when being in such a high position of leadership.” 

The person Culberson looks up to most is her mom. “She has always pushed me to be better and has supported me through my emotional ups and downs.” Armuchee’s tribe is loved and adored by many, Culberson’s favorite aspect of the tribe is that it is an inspiration to her. “Every person shows true courage and never gives up even when times are rough. Through everything that has happened in the past years, the tribe continues to grow and ameliorate the hard times.” 

There is a considerable difference between being drum major, and just a member of the band. “You are always drum major, everyone always holds you to a higher standard,” Bryce said. “When you do something everyone always sees it, so you always have to act like you are in front of people,” she further added. There is a larger difference in marching the show and conducting the show, but Bryce prefers both. She said, “I enjoy both. You get to experience each perspective of being in marching band. There is nothing more beautiful to me than watching everything coming together such as in rehearsals, in the stands, in the show, or wherever we are.” The most rewarding thing that she has taken from this experience is seeing how much you influence people. “My favorite experience as a drum major is the relationships I have built and the friends I have made,” claimed Bryce. Her plans for the future include studying in school for criminal justice.