CLARK, NJ - It's been roughly ten years since Arthur L. Johnson’s Marching Band has had a female drum major.  This year, Senior Sophia Bizink turned the tides and has taken the helm in this pivotal role.   

ALJ Band Director Justin Romano described the position of drum major as a critical leadership role upon which the rest of the band relies to deliver their best collective performance.  Bizink described her view of the role too.

"For some who are not familiar with the position of Drum Major, my role is essentially the conductor of the entire marching band and color guard. More importantly, it is a leadership position that I take very seriously.” said Bizink.   “While I am in the mode of conducting, I try to emphasize my emotions through facial expressions and body language. These movements allow the feelings and momentum of the music to be expressed."

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Romano added, “the drum major is there to inspire their fellow peers to work hard, achieve more, and push their limits to be the best they can be.”

According to Romano, Bizink was chosen for the role after a rigorous interview process including interviewing with multiple marching band staff members and performing in front of the entire marching band.

Bizink said that being in the ALJ music program has given her a chance to build relationships while pursuing her love of music.   She sees her role as a motivator and to inspire her fellow bandmates to reach their potential.  

This is Romano’s first year at ALJ, and according to him, based on what he has seen so far, he is excited to see where the band goes this year.  

“I have been involved in the marching band field for just about 10 years and have had a lot of great experiences,” Romano said.  This band has to be one of the hardest working bunch of young adults that I have ever seen in my whole career,” he said.  With every rehearsal, they come with a great focus, intensity, and commitment to tackle the day and improve themselves as musicians and people.”

Of Bizink’s leadership of the band, Romano described her as nothing less than inspirational.   “She brings a great determination, outstanding courage, and an incredible passion for music where she goes,” he said. “Every day we are always impressed with how Sophie has the ability to lead her peers with the utmost of pride and love for the activity. We cannot wait to see how she further develops in the role as drum major and what new heights she can reach with not just herself, but with the rest of the marching band.”


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