Grace Vivio has been in band since eighth grade. She spent her first three years in the pit playing percussion, and her last two as the marching band’s drum major. As a drum major, Grace is in charge of conducting the band through every show they perform. She has conducted the 2016 show “Among Starry Skies” and the 2017 show “I Am.”
Grace’s favorite shows are “Celebration: Africa” (2015) and “I Am” (2017). “They’re both a “last” show for me.” said Grace, “For the African show was my last one being in percussion, and “I Am” is the last one I’ll ever play in high school.”
Although leaving percussion was hard, Grace says she has loved the experience of being able to conduct the band.
“It’s completely different than being in the back of percussion,” she said. “When I was in percussion, I wasn’t able to see all of the things the band did compared to now. From the switch, it was interesting because you kind of go from one place to where you didn’t see much to where you see it all. I get to see everyone improve from various sections, skills, abilities, and talents.”
From getting to watch the band perform to more personal times like crying at the last practices, Vivio has created lasting memories through it all,
“These things just make the marching band experience for me because it’s not solely based on just performing, bringing home trophies, and being scored,” she said. “It’s about having fun and just enjoying ourselves.”
Vivio is extremely proud of how far the band has come, she has especially seen the changes as her time as drum major went on.
“Everyone has improved immensely, even the veterans,” Vivio said. “They’ve all reached my expectations and some have even surpassed that. Even though we had some rocky moments, we’ve all achieved something that is great and cannot be done again and I’m so proud of everything.”
Sadly, her last competition is over. Vivio’s last performance was at Mt. Pleasant in October. This wasn’t the saddest performance for her, but it was definitely “a very memorable one.”
“I would always tell myself toward the end, as senior night was approaching, that I would not cry at all because I’m not going to get upset for finally saying goodbye to such a wonderful group of individuals and staff,” she said. “I ended up crying any way.”