Marching Together During marching band practice, Kiana Sumpter, a sophomore, begins to jump into a high split, her form pristine, as she moves along with the music. The marching band prepares for a final practice before their first performance of the season Bryanna Williams, right, and Ashton Farrar, both juniors, share a moment of closeness. Farrar, a snare drummer, has been playing the drums since he was 5-years-old. “It helps me clear my head,” he said. Farrar wants to study biology when he graduates. Williams, one of the auxiliary dancers, wants to study art therapy and pursue a career in entertainment. Karrington Rice, a junior, comforts Ashanti Bailey, a senior, while she succumbs to nerves just hours before their first performance. Bailey is one of two drum majors, the top position of the marching band. Bailey said she was nervous about being compared to the past drum majors. Bailey played the piccolo and flute before becoming a drum major. She wants to study chemical engineering when she goes to college. Several of the band members line up to have their capes buttoned to their uniforms. Daniel Hunter, a senior, playfully pushes Oliver Harper’s forehead backwards. Both students have deep family roots within the marching band. Hunter’s parents and sister have all been in the marching band, and Harper’s grandparents were in the marching band. After marching into the stands, the Hillside High School marching band gets ready for their first game of the season. Jordan Jarmon, left, a junior, covers his face to conceal his nerves as he and Ashanti Bailey, right, receive advice for their first performance as drum majors from a former student. “There are a lot of shoes to fill, we are the face of the band. We set the image of what the band should be,” said Jarmon. Drumline coach Rob Yates gets the drummers pumped as they stand off with Dudley High School’s marching band for a potential battle. Chelsey Gray, a junior, has her uniform adjusted during a home game performance. Gray, one of the captains for auxiliary, says dancing gets her adrenaline moving. Jordan Jarmon played the tuba his first two years of band, now, as a drum major, he says there is a sense of leadership and passion that you must have. “There are sacrifices you have to make,” said Jarmon. Both of his parents were on the Hillside High School marching band and he wants to attend Florida A&M University and join their band.