Surroundings change,
music remains same


Kennedy Wyles

Senior William Lewis leads "The Mighty Eagle Band" at a football game against the McKinney Boyd Broncos on Oct. 19. His second year at Prosper, Lewis moved up to drum major this year. Drum major is the highest ranking student position in marching band. “Will is the first male drum major that we’ve had in five years,” band director John Alstrin said. “I think that’s good for the band to have both boy and girl leaders so that they learn that it’s more like a family, and we all play a part.”

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Moving overseas can bring fear of the unknown, but for senior William Lewis, this experience introduced him to a newfound love.

Initially a tuba player, Prosper band has brought Lewis new opportunities, transforming him into a drum major.

“I’ve lived all around the states, but before I moved to Prosper, I lived in South Korea,” Lewis said. “I’m actually a tuba player and have been for eight years, but I became a drum major this year.”

Lewis first considered trying out for drum major when a couple of friends encouraged him to do so.

“I went to the drum major classes they have before tryouts,” Lewis said. “It was actually a lot of fun.”

Going on his second year at Prosper, Lewis has attended around 10 schools throughout elementary, middle and high school.  

“I move around almost every two years,” Lewis said. “When I came to Prosper, the band program was really good. I was not prepared at all.”

Lewis recalls meeting with his private lesson teacher when first joining the Prosper band.

“He (lesson coach) goes ‘Play all the notes you can,’” Lewis said. “I was only able to play 8 or 9 notes. He told me I needed to play 40.”

Living all around the east coast and out of the country, music has been something he could always fall back on.  

“The one thing I’ve known is always band,” Lewis said. “When I move to a different place, I learn it’s kind of the same. No matter where I’ve moved, there’s always that consistency there.”

Band director John Alstrin said he believes that Will’s experiences allow him to approach things differently than other students.

“To go from a first-year member to drum major is pretty unheard of,” Alstrin said. “That’s what makes him so unique from our perspective. That got him a lot of respect in the program.”

A drum major acts as a conductor and leader of the band at pep rallies, sporting events and competitions. It is also the highest rank that can be achieved in a band.

“Will is the first male drum major that we’ve had in five years,” Alstrin said. “I think that’s good for the band to have both boy and girl leaders so that they learn that it’s more like a family, and we all play a part.”

Members must audition for the role of drum major, which consists of a month and a half of working on teaching and vocal commands. They also must meet with other band directors for an interview before being chosen for a leading position.

“Any type of student leadership role is difficult,” Alstrin said. “Students are really quick to pull each other down so it’s tough when you’re given a leadership role.”

Will is also looked up to as a big brother, according to some of the band members. 

“He always keeps up a good attitude no matter how much everyone else wants to be down,” senior and fellow band member Jake Chapman said. “He is constantly encouraging.”

Lewis said he’s not certain his high school interests will become his career pursuits. He is currently undecided. 

“Even though I may not choose music as a career, it will always be a part of my life,” Lewis said. 

According to Alstrin and other band members, Will’s ability to think like a problem-solver, while remaining humble and kind has brought him to where he is today in life and to the “Mighty Eagle Band.”

“There was a lot of work coming in here,” Lewis said. “I had to step up my game, but I definitely think I’m all the better for it.”