Q&A: Ethan Prom


Courtesy of Ethan Prom

Ethan Prom, a band conductor at CHS, leads the band at different events and competitions.

Stella Muehlhausen, Reporter

Senior Ethan Prom has been a part of the CHS band for four years total, but this is his first year as a band conductor. Taking on this responsibility has had its challenges, but Prom is grateful for this opportunity to take charge of the band.

Lancer Link: What do you do as conductor of the band?

Ethan Prom: As conductor of the band, I keep time by moving my hands in a specific pattern to show which beat we are on for the band members. We also lead the band onto the field, the track for the walk around, and through the village for the parade. A big aspect of being a drum major has to do with being the top leaders in the band.

LL: What made you want to become a band conductor?

EP: Honestly, I didn’t really think about ever becoming a drum major up until my friends joked about me being the conductor. I pretty much just went for it and ended up getting it out of a tough group of competition in auditions for the part. But to be honest, a part of me had always admired the previous drum majors.

LL: How is being a conductor different than being a band member?

EP: Being a conductor is really different from being a band member because there are only three of us where there are like 140 something [band members] out there on the field. Occasionally you can screw up as the band member by being out of step or playing a wrong note, but you can’t do that as a drum major. You have to be perfect all the time because not only are the other drum majors and Mr. Manzi counting on you, all of the people on the field are counting on you as well. You have to be the top leader in the band, so the relaxed standards put on the band members in terms of messing around don’t apply to drum majors.

LL: What are some challenges you face?

EP: Some challenges I have faced would definitely be trying to match the high standards expected of me in the role. Stephen and Sam, the other two drum majors, had already been in the role before and it was both of their second years as drum majors. They had already gotten the hang of conducting and leading the band and were extremely helpful to me. The band expected a lot from me after seeing how Sam and Stephen acted and conducted so I tried to meet that challenge head on.

LL: What has been your favorite memory?

EP: My favorite memory would probably be one of the competitions we had up in LA and problems we had there. When we go to a competition, we have all of our uniforms brought in a truck for us. Somehow when we got to the competition though, the drum major uniforms were not there and to be honest I thought they were joking when they said they didn’t have our uniforms. The parents up at the competition with us went to Target and got us all nice dress clothes as uniforms, and the ones in Carlsbad found our uniforms and drove up to LA to give it to us. We were literally heading into the stadium to perform when the parents with the missing uniforms showed up and we had to change in a minute before we went on. It was chaos at the time, but looking back it was fun.

LL: How has being a band conductor impacted your high school experience?

EP: Being a drum major has really impacted my high school experience by giving me a position to really lead and take charge that not many other opportunities give me. As a drum major you have to fix almost every problem that happens in the band, so you have to be super attentive and willing to help everyone, which overall has made me a better person that I likely would not have been if I had not had that position in the band. Also, meeting and having to know everyone’s name in the band really let’s you know more people in every grade than I would have if I had not been drum major.

LL: What are your plans for the future regarding being a band conductor?

EP: My plans for the future regarding being a band conductor are kind of unknown to me right now. As a senior, I’m going off to college and depending on whether my future college has marching band or not, I will likely join their marching band. Whether I will be a drum major in college is really something I haven’t decided to go for or not, but you never know because I loved being the drum major for Carlsbad and would definitely love being it elsewhere.