Band Beyond High School

Former Independence drum major, Lexi Para, has gone on to become a Blue Stars drum major for this upcoming season.

Former Independence drum major, Lexi Para, has gone on to become a Blue Stars drum major for this upcoming season.

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The band directors at Independence have high expectations regarding how they prepare their students who are interested in pursuing a band career out of high school, especially drum majors.

“We have pretty high standards of what we expect our drum majors to do, but we also give them a lot of responsibility and a little bit of leeway,” band director Christopher Cansler said.

These expectations and responsibilities persuaded  former drum major Lexi Para to pursue a career in professional marching band. Lexi will be a drum major for Blue Stars, a World Class Drum and Bugle Corps.

“Basically it’s professional marching band, but the kids don’t get paid,” Cansler said.

Directors say Para has always had an interest in drum core, but after her audition she knew where she wanted to be.

“So she went and auditioned, they really liked what they saw, and they offered the spot, to the fact that she got offered the spot and didn’t even finish her interview,” Cansler said.

The journey Para is about to embark on is going to be a new experience for her.

“She’ll go to performances all throughout the year just bigger and bigger, and then finals will be in Indianapolis, Indiana, and to be able to perform in front of an audience…that high of a level, it’s going to be very rewarding,” Cansler said.

Drum core is a massive step up from high school band, but the directors believe Para is ready for it.

“I think she’ll be a great leader. She has been a really great leader here for Independence Band and she possess all the great qualities leaders should have,” color guard director Angela Stoltz said.

“Especially with the directors, they have kind of gotten me to where I am and pushed me to be my best every single year, every single hour of the day,” Para said.

The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps will begin their Drum Corps International Tour starting June 21st until August 9th.

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