By Saira Singh and Lynette Aslanian
Who is Aaron Oberlander? When we asked a student at LCHS, he answered, “Aaron is an outstanding musician with a voice like gold.”
Senior Aaron Oberlander is the drum major- the student leader of band- of the La Cañada Marching Spartans. He runs practices and is the main conductor throughout the marching season. The following is from an interview that the Spartan Newspaper did with Aaron.
Q: What inspired you to join band?
A: First of all, I really love music. Also, a lot of people told me how hard band was going to be, and I love challenges. So I joined band for the music, but the reason I stayed in it and loved it as much as I do was because of the people I got to interact with and how they influenced me.
Q: Would you like to continue with music after high school?
A: Yes. And although I will definitely continue doing band in college, singing is my real passion. I’ve been in Chamber for three years. I’m planning on going into opera as my college major.
Q: What is it like being Drum Major?
A: It’s a lot different from marching around on the field. It’s harder than what I thought it would be. I prepared as much as I could, but until you stand up there and you’re in front of the whole band with everyone’s eyes on you, you have no realization of what it is going to be like. I was pretty much thrown into it blind. It takes a lot of responsibility and leadership.
Q: What instrument do you play?
A: I play the flute in the marching band. I love the flute and this is my sixth year playing it. I will be playing it for concert season and the musical, too, which I’m really grateful to be a part of.
Q: What was your favorite moment in the marching band?
A: I don’t have one favorite moment. There are too many moments that have accumulated throughout the years for me to choose one. On that note, one of my favorite moments every year has definitely been the championships. Even when we lost, it was just a time when we were all united. And I truly love the rest of the season leading up to it, because that’s when I really get to meet everyone.
Q: How different is your experience in Chamber singers from Marching Band?
A: Chamber singers and marching band are two different entities. But that’s really good for me. One is a really tight knit group of people; when you sing together your heart beats stay the same. Through singing, there is something physically to be gained. But I’ve really grown mentally and emotionally through marching band; being part of a big core unit, making a huge sound on the field, and playing up to people who are watching you is a completely different experience than being in a concert hall and just standing there. The physicality of it really transfers into all the mindsets that you have on the field. There is an air of “we’re really going to kill this”.
Q: In what ways has being drum major made you a better musician?
A: I thought I had a lot of experience with music, but I was quite surprised. A lot of this had to do with learning how to listen to many different parts. I have to micromanage; there are so many things I have to make sure I’m doing correctly. There is this one section where I’m controlling the entire field with just my hands and it can be really scary at times. It takes a lot of focus, and if something happens to me, well, everything stops.
Q: What advice do you have to anyone else who might want to join band?
A: I would highly recommend joining band. It has been one of the most enriching experiences of my high school career. I started band as a super awkward little kid, but I fell in love with band and it completely changed my life. I remember when I was at my first competition, and they asked “La Cañada, is your band ready?” There was nothing that could really compare to that experience and the bloodrush that went through my veins when I was performing. In band you become so focused and intent on your music that everything else just fades away. Band is truly an amazing experience.
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