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The Drum Majors
Just what they needed to hear
“Drum Majors Jeff and Millie, is your band ready?” the public address announcer said in front of 9200 parents and fans assembled at the State marching band competition.
The drum majors marched up the 50-yard-line to the center of the field, flourished a salute, and then shook the judge’s outstretched hand.
Judge McCarthy had a clipboard in his hand and a recording device on top of the clipboard.
“Jeff and Millie, you two look great as a drum major pair. Poise, pizzazz, good authority. You should have no problem winning this thing. But Jeff, I need you to relax for a second. Take a deep breath. All eyes are on us right now, but no one can hear us. Relax. It’ll be fine. You’ve been through your routines and conducting hundreds of times. You have it down pat. Lots of work to get to this point. Millie, same thing. Take a deep breath, and when you’re ready, come shake my hand again, step back, turn around and salute the crowd, and you’ll be golden. Just relax you two. You’ll do just fine.”
Jeff and Millie exchanged glances and knew the judge was right.
“Let’s do it, Mill,” Jeff said out loud with a smile and a wink.
With that they shook hands, turned, saluted to the crowd, and formally marched up the 50-yard line to the sideline, and Millie climbed the conducting podium.
As she took a deep breath, the announcer said, “Drum Majors and East Winds High School, you may take the field.”
Millie clapped her hands four times, and the crack of the starting gun sounded just before the band played their first note and took their first step.
Drum Majors Millie and Jeff would enjoy and cherish the next 12 minutes of their lives, knowing what Judge McCarthy in private said was true.
It was as if the good judge had been in their shoes twenty-two years ago and knew their anxieties.