Marching Warriors Continue March Toward Success

Cady Studios
Junior Emmett Galloway, a three-year band veteran, is the drum major for this year’s Marching Warriors.

For many Warrior fans, North Atlanta’s marching band is the highlight of game evening events. Seeing the Marching Warriors take the field and play their songs, all along with the Silver Stars dancing troupe, can be thrilling for those who love rousing, foot-stomping music.

This year’s marching band has 62 members, which is 15 more than last year’s. The band is under the direction of faculty member Adam Brooks, who has led the spirited unit for 12 years.  

This year’s drum major is junior Emmett Galloway, a three-year band veteran. Throughout his freshman and sophomore years, he played trumpet. Galloway tried out for the drum major position at the end of last spring semester and got the nod for the prestigious post when the selection committee voted him in. Receiving exciting news was enough to overwhelm him. “I was weak in the knees when I first heard it,” he said. “And right after that I walked around with a smile on my face for two days.”

Brooks said the junior has responded well to the leadership opportunity. “Emmett is hard working and very motivated and he’s really stepped up for this important role,” Brooks said.

The band practices every day after school. And to improve for this year, it started rehearsing and building up momentum during steamy-weather band camp back sessions in mid-July. “The  way Mr. Brooks pushed us really helped us to build up endurance,” said sophomore Sarah Tory, who plays bass drum. “It was hot and we sweat a lot but it was really worth it.”

Galloway said all of the hard work and focus from last year has significantly carried into the marching band’s elevated performances this year. “We had a good vibe at the end of last year and were doing really well at performances so that just carried on and we’re seeing new strength this year,” he said.

Recent performances at competitions confirm the band’s excellence. On Oct. 15, the band won an array of honors at the National High Stepping Regional Competition held at Banneker High School in College Park. During the event, the North Atlanta band brought home seven trophies, including first place among all Class 1A band, along with first place in drum major, flags, music and marching categories. The band also garnered second place awards in dance and drumline. “The kids really came through,” Brooks said. “We’ve been stressing to the kids about setting long term goals and it was great to see them finally come to fruition.”

To wow crowds at football games — and to impress competition judges — the band is playing bumping songs from this year’s playlist. Song include “Touch the Sky” by Kanye West, “It’s a Vibe” by 2 Chains and “Location” by Khalid. But no matter what the Marching Warriors are playing this year, the beat is new and much improved.