TCHS Rampage

Temple City High School


November 6, 2017

TAMing the Pride of Temple City

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Band Student Conductor Junior Diana Tam stood on a platform during the football game’s halftime show, her white-gloved hands still and poised as adrenaline rushed through her body. Positioned before 150 band members who moved in unison at the rise and fall of her hands, Tam could not wait to begin.
“I tried out for this position because I wanted to be a part of the leadership in such a talented and large group of musicians all striving for the same end goal; putting together a phenomenal and entertaining show,” Tam said. “The drum major is what keeps the entire ensemble together and I could not be more honored to be in such a position.”
Playing the flute in the band for seven years, Tam is no stranger to the way band runs. As the Student Conductor, a few of her responsibilities include providing instructions for the band, conducting and making sure that everything is running smoothly during practices.
“Diana is very driven to be as good as she possibly can,” Band Director Mr. Bert Ferntheil said. “She works well with other people, takes charge and has been a lot of fun to have around. Her overall demeanor makes her stand out, in the way that she works and talks to people. She speaks well and can get her point across without coming off as mean.”
Tam already held the position of Assistant Conductor during her sophomore year, which was unusual for her young age. Since then, she has moved up the ranks through hours of practice.
“Being up there is an indescribable feeling,” Tam said. “My favorite thing is seeing the band grow and complete the field show, seeing how hard we worked the whole season.”
Band members have a say in voting for their Student Conductor, although the decision mainly rests with the previous year’s conductor and Mr. Ferntheil.
“She takes charge, and everyone looks up to her literally,” Sophomore Serena La said. “I voted for her because you can see all the emotions on her face, and she’s very passionate about conducting–you can see how much she’s focused on the music.”
Taught by former Student Conductor Chris Pan, Tam has spent more than 100 hours of individual practice to prepare for the band’s field show and other performances. She was chosen for the position usually held for seniors as a reflection of her hours of practice.
“She’s really supportive and responsible, and is a good leader because she knows what to do and encourages everyone to do their best,” Senior Amber Wong said. “During practice, she’s very focused, easy to get along with and always tries to help everyone out.”
With support from her peers, Tam gains experience as a leader and grows in maturity and confidence.
“I think the best feeling is when the band is holding a huge note and they sound loud and proud, which perfectly describes the Pride of Temple City,” Tam said. “I can’t wait to see the POTC grow as a family and the improvement through the years have been incredibly inspiring. We are only accomplishing more as an ensemble every year and each season seems to beat out the last. I’m looking forward to seeing where the band will go next.”

About the Author

Michelle Zhang
Michelle Zhang is a staff writer that enjoys listening to music, eating, socializing with friends, and sleeping.



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