Name: JacyRae Cagle
School: Sonoraville High School
Position: Drum major
JacyRae Cagle’s tenure as drum major of the Marching Phoenix is unusual in the world of high school marching bands. She’s stood atop the podium for three years, conducting her fellow musicians as they play at football games and competitions.
“It’s very self-driven,” she says of the audition process. “You have to have a natural talent for it.”
Drum major tryouts include an interview, guiding the band through a prepared piece and demonstration of a custom salute that candidates design themselves. During her freshman year as a marching member of the band, Cagle played alto saxophone, although her concert instrument is oboe.
As the band prepares to deliver another show during halftime games all football season, Cagle is ready to take on her accustomed role of linchpin. She handles everything from answering questions about when the band will dismiss for third quarter break to making sure everyone has black socks on before a game. This year, the 120-person band will present “The Hero,” a tribute to American heroes who have served in the military.
Songs include “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “The Sound of Silence” and taps.
This year’s preparation includes the requisite push during band camp to get the footwork and music down pat.
“It’s definitely way more than anyone could ever expect or anticipate,” Cagle says of the intensity of band camp. “We have to memorize about 60 drill spots on the field. We have to get that music to memory. It’s a very mentally exhausting thing if you don’t work at it every single day.”
Camp goes for two weeks at the end of the summer. The members run through marching basics during the morning block from 8 a.m. to noon. They break for an hour-long lunch, and they’re back at it with music practice until two, at which point, they break for sectional practice. Supper break is from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., the band is back outside for more marching.
Camp includes “loads of sunscreen, loads of water,” Cagle says.
She’ll ascend the podium one more first time this season before wrapping her senior year. She hopes to head to Jacksonville State or Kennesaw State University where she’ll stay involved in music — maybe even as a drum major.
The following is Sonoraville’s Band roster:
Drum Major: JacyRae Cagle
Flutes: Zach McDougal, Alyceson McPherson, Shelby Mitchell, Alex Browning, Jamie Wilson
Clarinets: Brianne Sloan, Mikah Hawkins, Tori Hopkins, Megan Roach, Peter Rebollar, Cielo Reyes, Ryleigh O’Mahony, Bethany Ferguson, Pamela Ferraro, Abigail Montgomery
Bass Clarinet: Karina Vega
Alto Saxes: Itzel Taboada, Olivia Martin, Stephanie Diddle, Gwyneth Payne, Stephanie Chavez, Danial Smith, Holley Long, Anellis Morales, Joshua Valdes, Jonathan Lopez,
Tenor Saxes: Trevor Johnson, Matthew Moore, Matthew Ramsey
Baritone Saxes: Mason DeArk, Kevin Richmond
Mellophones: Landon O’Mahony, Matthew McClendon, Alyssa Darnell, Jasmine Pena
Trumpets: Madison Gilliland, Hope Childers, A’letah Barnes, Craig Hudspeth, Tony Perez, Gabriel Fantom, Brayden Land, Tennesee Singer, Randall Rumph
Trombones: Josh Ratcliff, Angie Gonzalez, Zach Campbell, Joseph Butler
Greg Hudspeth, Jaden Jernigan
Baritones: Caleb Pack, Haleigh Miller
Tubas: Emmanuel Gonzalez, Tinley Hampton, Aileen Aguilar, Joshua Walden
Percussion: Estefania Hernandez, Cynthia Walker, Daniel Argueta, Madison Craig, Spencer Hogan, Amber Crawford, Ty Fuqua, Jordan Linden, JT Cuthriel, Savannah Crider, Ryland Murray, Olivia Conner, Noel Luna, Nathan Rademacher, Noah Marchman, Tyler Abercrombie, Ian Martin, Madison Amon, Mason Bunch, Rosie Holbert, Noah Pack, Emily Mitchell
Color Guard: Jessica Casey, KaeLeigh Clements, Jennifer Cortes, Hannah Elmore, Jazman Hall, Rachel Hanley, Jalania Mulkey, Khiley Moore, Kayla Smith, Alexis Whiteside, Drea Wilson, Shianne Gilbert
Majorettes: Allie Young, Anna Boswell, Meagan Hafner, Claire Flox, Hannah Forthe, Emily Cook, Serenity Price