Leadership in Unusual Times

Leadership in Unusual Times

By Austin Stiles '21


When the Covid-19 pandemic shut down schools in the spring, I had no idea what to do. I missed seeing my friends every school day and being able to talk face-to-face during lunches and free periods. With the shut down, I had no more band rehearsals during the week and everything that I did was individual work and nothing with the band as a whole. During the summer, I began to feel more comfortable and looked forward to the next school year.

Almost three months into my senior year, as I look back at the summer, I am thankful to have been fortunate enough to begin practicing with the full band once again. In July, I tried out to be the drum major for the marching band and I am thankful that Mr. Brian Yealy ’79, P’10, P12 and Mrs. Lynn Yealy ‘84, P’10, P12 chose me to be the drum major for the 2020-21 school year. 

I have participated in the Delone Catholic Marching Band for six years and each year has brought its own challenges, as well as its own rewards. 2020 brought the challenge of performing a marching band field show amidst a global pandemic. I am happy to say that the marching band was successful in putting a field show together and that I have had the opportunity to perform alongside other members of the marching band at many football games and at a parent show performed in September. 

Being the drum major during the times that we are in allowed me to have the chance to become a better leader and to help others become better. With the band not travelling to competitions or away football games, we had the opportunity to have a marching drum line for the first time since many, many years before I ever joined the band. This season has been a learning experience for everyone including me. I have had to lead the band and help them to prepare for the next season. I feel thankful knowing that next year the band will be in good shape to perform a fantastic show under the leadership of a different drum major. 

Iwant to thank the Delone Catholic administration, Mr. and Mrs. Yealy, and the Delone Music Association for working together to make this year’s marching season a reality. I also thank the staff and the other members of the marching band for allowing me to enjoy my final season in the Delone marching band.