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Drum Majors Mallika Chadaga, Ashna Pathan, Brett Henry and Alice Mae Alford will lead the Coppell Band in 2017-2018. Photo by Susan Edgley

The Coppell High School Band has selected four drum majors to lead during the 2017-2018 school year: Ashna Pathan, senior clarinetist, Brett Henry, senior alto saxophonist, Mallika Chadaga, junior bassoonist and Alice Mae Alford, sophomore flutist. The students were selected through an intensive audition and interview process that took place this past spring.

“Our drum majors represent not only the Coppell Band but Coppell High School and the community as well,” said Gerry Miller, Director of Bands for CISD. “Their ability to lead our 480-member band on and off the field through respect, teamwork, dedication and inspiration, be musically adept and confident, and exemplify a servant attitude and good citizenship are all factors we consider when choosing our drum majors.”

Pathan, daughter of Mohit and Zarin Pathan, returns to the podium for the second time. “As a drum major last year, I learned that the only thing that is certain is our mutual want for success,” said Pathan. “No matter who we are or how we fit into the program, we all just want to see our hard work pay off.” Pathan hopes to inspire confidence in her fellow band members. “Confidence is important because if we aren't confident in ourselves and each other, our audience and judges won’t be confident in us. Confidence happens when everyone is self-motivated to work at a high level.” After graduation Pathan plans to study music composition and eventually write the scores (background music) for movies, TV shows, and video games.

“I’ve always looked up to previous drum majors and had a great respect for what they did,” said Henry, son of Bill and Jeannie Henry. “Because of this, I aspired to be a drum major. I want to help the band flourish like those before me.” Henry looks forward to seeing the marching show from a different perspective, and hopes to create a fun, constructive environment where everyone enjoys making a great show. Henry may study math, computer science, or business after graduation.

Chadaga, daughter of Deepak Chadaga and Veena Bhat, wanted to become a drum major because she always felt like she could be doing more to help the growing organization. “I want to share my passion for this program with every member of the band, new and old, and help create positive experiences for everyone,” said Chadaga. “I want us to become tighter as a unit and create new bonds, while strengthening our existing ones. I am ready to work hard to be as successful as possible, and encourage others to do so as well.” Chadaga is contemplating performing with a World Class Drum Corps as part of DCI, and has an interest in neuroscience/psychology.

“There are many past and present drum majors who inspired me to become an impactful leader,” said Alford, daughter of Tim and Jennifer Alford. When Alford was a 7th grader, she recalled watching Hannah Thorp, Coppell drum major in 2014-2015, at a football game. “I looked up to her,” said Alford. “It was a defining moment for me.” Alford wants to lead by example, raise the level of effort in daily rehearsals, and inspire bandmates to pour everything they have into making music. “Music is the most powerful thing. It can draw out emotion and bring meaning into people’s lives. We can give the gift of music to others.” Alford has not decided on a career path yet but is leaning toward music or aerospace engineering.

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