Mary Beth Gordon (from left), Julianna Darby and Jordan Ceasar are drum majors for the Sparkman High School Band. (CONTRIBUTED)
Mary Beth Gordon (from left), Julianna Darby and Jordan Ceasar are drum majors for the Sparkman High School Band. (CONTRIBUTED)

Archived Story

Gordon, Darby and Ceasar lead Sparkman Band

Published 10:35pm Wednesday, September 11, 2013

MADISON – Sparkman High School Band members are following commands from lead drum major Mary Beth Gordon, assisted by Jordan Ceasar and Julianna Darby.

David Raney is director of bands at Sparkman.

Gordon was born into a musical family. A flute and piccolo player, she always thought “music was special because it could change your emotions whenever you listened to it.”

As drum major, her most difficult task is “keeping that calm, smiling, personable attitude even when a situation gets really stressed and hard to settle. You must be ready to go with the flow.”

Sparkman’s marching show, “Once Upon A Dream”, “plays off different dream states … happy, bizarre, nightmarish,” Gordon said. She most enjoys the “quirky aspects (with) lots of time signature changes and many unexpected things.”

“First and foremost, I’m dedicated to First Baptist Church in Huntsville,” Gordon said. She received the Manuel Wallace Leadership Award in soccer. She maintains an A average. Her parents are John and Diane Gordon.

Ceasar is a saxophonist. As drum major, “reading the scores, finding the correct cues, rests and cut-offs” proves challenging, Ceasar said. He enjoys conducting the different charts in their show.

At Sparkman, Ceasar also participates in JROTC. He volunteers at the Breaking Free Rescue Mission and sings with his church’s praise and worship team.

Ceasar has been awarded at solo and ensemble competition and at Auburn University drum major camp. Jordan’s parents are Willie and Lucinda Ceasar.

Darby was inspired to learn to play piano by her father. She started with clarinet in sixth grade.

“Since this is the first year as drum majors for all three of us, the most difficult thing is knowing what to expect,” Darby said. “We’re still getting used to procedures.” After rehearsing the show so many hours, “it’s hard not to love it.”

Darby still studies piano, is involved with her church’s youth group and performs with Huntsville Youth Orchestra. For two years, she has earned all A’s. Her parents are Ben and Tina Darby.

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