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Paoli High School

501 Elm St.
Paoli, IN 47454
(812) 723-3905

Under New Direction

Lambdin and Thacker Share New Role as Drum Major
Olivia McSpadden
Senior Liliann Woodsmall does a salute to start the show.

On March 28, sophomore Cannon Lambdin and eighth grader Vanessa Thacker were announced as the new drum majors of the Pride of Paoli marching band for the 2024 season. The two were selected after a call for a new drum major went out earlier this year.

A packet given to students contained information on what it is like to be a drum major and what the job entails. Then, interested students learned some of the basic skills of being a drum major.

“(Students) go to several meetings where they can come, hear information, and learn what it is like to be a drum major,” said Band Director Christian Karkosky.

After the informational meetings are completed, auditions were held. The final candidates were selected by a group of staff and band members who
vote on the students.

“Ultimately it’s a group decision on who becomes drum major. We like to have different perspectives and opinions when voting,” said Karkosky.

Vanessa Thacker plays during the State performance. (Olivia McSpadden)

This year there will be two drum majors, which is different from years past. Lambdin and Thacker originally auditioned for a single drum major spot, but ultimately they were selected as a team. Even though Lambdin and Thacker are a team, they have different inspirations, goals and experiences. Lambdin joined the band for one year before this year and is already becoming a leader.

“The leaders and members in band last year made me feel so welcome.They taught me that no matter who you are, the band is a family of people who will be there for you and encourage you in so many ways. I saw an opportunity to carry on that encouragement and leadership in trying out for drum major, and that’s what caught my interest,” said Lambdin.

Lambdin hopes he can have an impact on the band in his time.

“By senior year, I will hopefully play some more swag music, but what’s most important to me is that I leave the band with a sense of belonging,” said Lambdin.

Sophomore Cannon Lambdin waits for his next part during the State performance. (Olivia McSpadden)

Lambdin and Thacker come from different musical experiences, but both are inspired by marching band leaders Liliann Woodsmall and Brooklyn Weber.

“Whenever Brooklyn, a percussionist like me, became a conductor, it really inspired me. In my head, I’ve been thinking, ‘oh, if she can do this, I can do this’. Liliann also inspires me because she does everything right, and is a really good leader. I want to be like her,” said Thacker.

Thacker wants to be a leader, but her one goal is to have the marching band work together as a team instead of playing individually. Lambdin and Thacker both have much to learn regarding the skills it takes to lead the band.

“Preparation is going to be very important this year. A big part of getting ready to be drum major for me is simply looking forward to the season, and spending time with those who will be involved. It’s also been good to practice some of the skills that will be needed next year,” said Lambdin.

Lambdin and Thacker will need to learn to conduct to be drum majors. They will be taught those skills in the coming weeks as they prepare for the season ahead.

“The responsibilities of drum major are definitely a big variety. In Mr. Karkosky’s words, the drum majors are the ultimate leaders in the band. This means being ready to serve the band in many capacities like by conducting, teaching, being an example, and being there for other band members,” said Lambdin.

The Pride of Paoli season officially begins with Rookie Camp on May 7.

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About the Contributors
Lillie Johnson
Lillie Johnson, Paolite Staff Writer
Hi, I’m Lillie. I enjoy reading and hanging out with friends.
Olivia McSpadden
Olivia McSpadden, Chief Photographer, Facebook Editor
Hi, I'm Olivia McSpadden! This past year I was the photo editor for the yearbook and one of the main sports photographers. This year I'm the Chief Photographer and the Facebook Editor. With the Chief Photographer position, I have a heavy hand in the selection of pictures in the Hillcrest Yearbook, Paolite Newspaper, and all of our social media accounts. In addition to this I'm also over the gallerists of Paoli Media, so every time someone takes an event they make a gallery and captions, and then I post it on Facebook for the public to see!
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