Katie Scanlon: head drum major

By Haylee Nanez and Julianne Todd

When the Friday night lights begin to heat up, Katie Scanlon is there. When the band is called for practice at 7 a.m., Katie is there. And when the middle podium is set up for the halftime show, Katie is on it.

Originally from Jonestown, TX, Scanlon is a senior and head drum major at LHS. In everyday life, she describes herself as happy, funny and laidback.  Once on the podium, however, Katie is all business.

“I’ve been in band since sixth grade. I wasn’t involved in anything else and decided to give band a try,” Katie said. In high school, playing a variety of instruments, her friend Kelsey Blanscet suggested she try out for drum major. She took Kelsey’s advice, went through four different phases of competition and was then named head drum major.

During performances she confesses there is room for error. “I watch the snare captain’s feet (J.R. Alberto). If he’s off, I’m off, my section is off, the whole band is off. It can be very hectic,” she said.

Katie claims that she acquired her leadership skills in band. “Being thrown into this position, I developed leadership skills quickly. It also means being the last one to leave, making sure everything is back in place,” she said.

“I get this face; the audience can’t see it, but band members can. I look at the person who is messing up, and send a (mental) message for them to get it right,” Katie said. Getting things right is extremely important to Katie. She strives to make the band the best that it can be.

Even though band is a major part of Katie’s life, there is one thing she won’t miss about the hectic schedule.  “I wish practices were every other day; it is very time consuming. Sometimes I don’t get home until 7:30 or 8:00 p.m.,” she said.

Home is on the lake front of Lake Travis where she lives with two sisters,  loving parents and a recently adopted black kitten she named Bagheera, after a Jungle Book character.  She attends Christ Episcopal Church and plays alto sax in a community band.  Katie’s boyfriend, Jordan McConkey, a tuba player in the LHS band, got her involved in The Band of the Hills.

“Playing in this band has given me the opportunity to improve on the saxophone. I really like the traditional music we play,” Katie said.

Her love of music reaches far. “I have an acoustic guitar, electric guitar, snare drum, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, and keyboard. I dabble with them all,” she said.  Katie’s playlist includes Flobots, CAKE, Regina Spektor, and she listens to anything on 101X, alternative station.

She also loves playing video games, although she does not consider herself a gamer.  She enjoys World of Warcraft and Assassin’s Creed. “No zombie games, I hate zombies,” Katie said.

After high school, Katie plans on at least seven years of college. And although she is not quite sure where she wants to attend, she is considering Texas Tech, UT Austin, and other colleges in and around Texas. She hopes to become a dentist, and still has time to decide which dental school to apply to.

Katie admires several people, but her friend Kelsey Blanscet takes top honors.  “I learned a lot about being a drum major from Kelsey. She makes herself happy. And I want to make myself happy too,” she said.

Her performance on the podium appears to be flawless; if it’s not, the audience doesn’t notice. All they see on center podium is a confident young lady taking on her role with strength and pride.