WOTW: Kendan Powers

Junior+Kendan+Powers+conducts+the+DHS+Band+during+a+performance+at+a+DHS+football+game.+

Junior Kendan Powers conducts the DHS Band during a performance at a DHS football game.

Brady Huggins, Staff Reporter

For junior Kendan Powers, a drum major for the De Soto High School band, this year has been unprecedented to say the least. Due to COVID-19, the band was not been able to march at football games nor play at basketball games, along with the lost opportunity to perform at many concerts and festivals. The absence of these performances has led to a fair share of difficulties for Powers. 

“It was difficult to motivate people and get them to care about band with COVID-19 and not having performances,” Powers said. 

Assistant band director Philip Kaul also shared the struggles that the band has had this year. 

“We’ve had a lot [of struggles],” Kaul said. “We didn’t have a marching band or basketball pep band. Hybrid and remote also weren’t conducive to band rehearsal, so we had to be creative during that.” 

With the lack of performances, Powers has helped bring energy to the band and keep students engaged, according to Kaul. 

“Kendan’s strongest attributes are his charisma and positive energy,” Kaul said. “I was proud of Kendan and the other drum majors for making the best of a less than ideal situation.” 

Band has been an interest of Powers’ for awhile now, as he has played in the DHS band since he was in middle school. He has played a variety of instruments since he joined band but has specifically enjoyed the french horn. 

“I play the french horn because I thought it sounded cool,” Powers said. 

When asked about his favorite aspect of high school band, Powers mentioned the pep band’s participation in DHS football games. 

“Friday night football games are definitely my favorite,” Powers said. “There’s a really fun atmosphere surrounding them.” 

Powers’ experience in band as an underclassmen helped inspire him to run for a leadership position like drum major as a junior this year. 

“When I was an underclassman, I

really looked to the drum majors,” Powers said. “I thought being in the same role as those drum majors would be really cool.” 

There are many responsibilities that come with being a drum major. Kaul mentioned the roles drum majors play in the band each year. 

“They conduct pep bands and teach music fundamentals to younger students,” Kaul said. “Kendan does a great job of building connections with younger students and bringing an infectious attitude.” 

As for Powers’ music career after high school, he currently plans to continue practicing on his own, but not to play in college; however, he is considering majoring in environmental science at Northern Arizona University. 

With the trials and tribulations that COVID-19 brought this year, the DHS band has had to adjust to restricted performances and an absence of pep bands at school events. Despite these struggles, Powers plans to serve as a drum major for the DHS band once again during his senior year. His leadership amidst the pandemic has been quite commendable, and his charisma and mentorship will undoubtedly ensure another successful band season next year.