Behind the Plumes and Podium: Who’s in charge?


Tyler Truong

PRACTICE MAKES PROGRESS: The clarinet section spread out during morning practice to warm-up with scales and learn the new notes for their set.

Shreya Aithal, Staff Writer

First, walk into registration. Then, morning check-in, dot and drill sheets. Fittings, rehearsals and then all of a sudden—the first football game. Northwood wouldn’t be the same without its marching band, which could not run without its important staff behind the scenes.

Composed of band staff, uniform staff and librarian staff, these leadership teams work together with the drum majors, section leaders and captains to achieve a seamless football game performance.

Managed by junior Irene Hwang, junior Matthew Morikawa and sophomore Drew Maragay, band staff is responsible for setting up speakers and the podium for the drum majors, along with loading trucks with all of the instruments and other necessary materials for game days. After football games, volunteers return to the band room to unload all instruments and other materials brought to the football game, organize them correctly and set everything up for the upcoming week.

“It’s a lot of labor work, but in general, being on leadership is really fun,” Hwang said. “You have a small group of people that you really depend on, but we also teach other people and delegate everything.”

Uniform staff, managed by senior Salma Iliasu and sophomore Baylie Wong, fit over 200 people during band camp in August, tailoring marching uniforms for students.

“Being the uniform manager allows me to craft a lot,” Iliasu said. “We have to be able to think outside the box when fitting people and different sizes, so it’s like an outlet for me.”

Alongside uniform staff is the library staff, which is overseen by junior David Gima, sophomore Annie Song and sophomore Aya Takase-Songui. The library staff is primarily involved during band camp, where they are responsible for registration, check-in and paperwork, which involves coordinating all marching band events and performances.

“Library staff does a lot of organizational work, and as leadership, we try to help out with whatever is needed, whenever we can,” Gima said. “Being on leadership, I feel honored to be setting an example for not only other band members, but for everyone that sees the Northwood Marching Band.”

No matter which leadership role students are in, the strong connection between everyone creates the community that keeps people coming back year after year.

“I feel more committed to marching band now because I’m in leadership,” Hwang said. “Even though I have a little bit more responsibility, but that also comes with getting to talk to new people within all parts of the band, and I’ve made a lot more friends this year than last year.”