Director’s News

2020 Marching Band Leadership Roster

Dear Athens Drive Band students and parents,


I am excited to post the “2020 Athens Drive Leadership Roster!”  I can tell you without reservation that this group of students are going to be exceptional leaders!!  There were countless times when I was completely “in awe” of the mature responses to the many questions that I posed.  I realize that “what looks good on paper” doesn’t always transfer to action; however, I know all of you well enough to state that I trust that you will follow-through on your written responses 100%.


Final decisions were made by consulting previous section leaders, captains, and drum major.  I also relied on assistance from our instructors, namely John Antonelli, Jennifer Harris (Mason), Michael Santangelo, Ashlynn Hayes, and Laura Minick.  Finally, I have considered what I have observed from you during the school year.  While no list is perfect, I can assure you that a great deal of thought went into this roster.


You will note that some students have been appointed “lead” positions, and others “assistant” positions.  “Lead” positions are those that carry the most weight.  These students have the responsibility for making certain that ALL necessary jobs get done:  administrative (copying/distributing music, assigning instruments/equipment and parts, repairing equipment, changing silks, etc.), musical (leading sectionals/teaching, passing off music), marching (leading fundamentals and sectionals when necessary), and social (establishing and maintaining communication and positive energy among the section).  Please note that “assistant” positions are exactly that–“assistants” to the lead section leader.  While these students are expected to fully participate and help with the duties noted above, they are to shadow the “lead” section leaders/captains, giving them the respectful “right-of-way.”  ALL OF YOU ARE CRITICALLY IMPORTANT TO MAKING THIS YEAR A SUCCESS.  Remember it is not about YOU, it’s about our BAND!  In the end, your worth as a leader is determined by what you give away.  GAME ON!  GO!


I recommend that “lead” section leaders contact the other leaders in your section ASAP and start strengthening relationships!  MAKE THIS WORK!!!  I will be providing more information for all of you next week, beginning with recruiting assignments.


I realize that there are some student candidates that are not included on this roster.  Please know that I truly LOVE all of you and will be happy to communicate with you as to why I made the choices I did.  You do not have to agree with me; however, I will be honest with you.  Please wait until next week to contact me if you have any questions.


Also, let’s not forget the BIG PICTURE at this time:  I PRAY THAT WE CAN EVEN HAVE MARCHING BAND NEXT YEAR!  I still cannot believe that I am writing these words.  This whole “pandemic thing” seems so surreal to me—even after almost 3 months of living through it.  What makes it even more frustrating is that everyone that I have spoken with (students and parents) really, really, really wants to get back to normal!  Unfortunately, the ultimate decision is out of our hands.  I pray every day that our civic leaders make the right calls keeping in mind appropriate risk and quality of life.


I believe strongly that creating music together is an ESSENTIAL human activity.  Especially in a world racked with violence and insecurity, music can settle the spirit and provide a safe way to release our emotions.  Music is a UNIVERSAL GOOD in this world!  It reminds us of what we want to strive for; it will never let us down!  We need music now more than ever!


Take care, and let’s make this band the FINEST EVER!








Drum Majors

Will Wakeford-+, lead

Emily Schmidt-S, asst.


Woodwind Captains

Isabel Tabachow-+, lead

Hugh Bettini-J, asst.


Brass Captain

Elizabeth Swirski-+


Field Crew Captain

Kaitlyn Worden-+


Guard Captains

Ashley Choi-+, co-lead

Jane Pannill+, co-lead

Makayla Gamble-+, asst.

Katie Little-J, asst.


Flute Section Leaders

Caroline Swirski-+, co-lead

Skylar Harvey-+, co-lead

Fiona McGuinn-+, asst.


Clarinet Section Leaders

Megan Zeidler-+, co-lead

Emma Cockman-J, co-lead

Daniel Carter-+, asst.

Brianna Hodgins-+, asst.


Alto Saxophone Section Leaders

Dan Michaud-+, co-lead

Isabel Tabachow-+, co-lead

Loren Liu-J, asst.


Tenor Saxophone Section Leaders

Martha Davies-Cutting-+, co-lead

Drew King-+, co-lead

Myles Garris-+, asst.

Thomas Thornton-J, asst.


Baritone Saxophone Section Leader

Mia Hopkins-+


Trumpet Section Leaders

Elizabeth Swirski-+, lead

Will Cowan-+, asst.

Emily Berry-+, asst.

Robert Ponson-+, asst.


Mellophone Section Leader

Alana Williamson-J


Baritone Section Leaders

Kira Williams-+, lead

Jackson Baird-+, asst.


Tuba Section Leaders

Wesley Major-+, lead

Connor Edwards-+, asst.

Emma Edwards-+, asst.

Zed Lanier-+, asst.


Front Ensemble Captain

Brennan Robbins-+


Battery Captains

Connor Nicol-+, co-lead

Jackson Gill-+, co-lead

Ana Altman-+, asst.


Key:  +=senior; J=junior; S=sophomore

Dr. Jerry Markoch, Director of Bands

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