Martinez, Morris ready to lead Panther Band into the new school year

Will Lanigan, Lufkin High School Panther Growls Editor

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Lufkin High School seniors Verania Martinez and Kaelin Morris are excited to carry on the tradition of excellence as this year’s Panther Band drum majors.

Both are section leaders — Martinez on the French horn and Morris on the clarinet — and both have consistently been ranked at the top of their class musically.

“This responsibility is like an honorable robe that you put on,” Morris said.

Martinez and Morris agreed that their being chosen represents the diversity of Lufkin, as both are part of historically underrepresented demographic groups and both are female.

Martinez said  it is not easy to balance schoolwork with leading nearly 200 band members, but she gained some experience as the head Majorette last year.

George Little is beginning his fourth year as Director of Bands for Lufkin ISD, something the drum majors said will contribute to the success of this year’s band.

Past Lufkin drum majors have given Martinez and Morris many tidbits of advice, they said. One of the former LHS graduates said the drum major is the “uplifter of the band.” Another told Martinez and Morris, “Don’t take everything to heart.”

This year’s drum majors have been hard at work over the summer, attending Drum Major Camp and Band Camp, selecting music, and teaching marching fundamentals to the new band. Their first of many official appearances will be this Friday night, when the Panthers play their first football game of the 2019 season in Abe Martin Stadium.

“The best is yet to come,” Martinez said.