(COVINGTON, La.) As the Marching Wolves start their new school year, they now have a new junior drum major to assist in leading the way, the first legacy drum major in St. Paul’s School history. Junior Drum Major Dustin Simoneaux is the son of Pierre Simoneaux, former drum major of the Marching Wolves during the 1981-82 school year.
“It feels good knowing that I made my family proud and that I’m carrying on a Simoneaux family legacy,” said Dustin.
Dustin works under Senior Drum Major Lane Sumrall and takes direction from him in order to learn to become next year’s leader.
“I’m excited for the new year,” said Sumrall. “All the music we’re playing is great, and all the members are really dedicated to what they do. Dustin has also shown that he has a lot of potential as drum major and that he is in the right mindset.”
According to St. Paul’s Director of Bands Andrew Moran, it was because of Dustin’s selflessness and leadership ability that he was chosen for the position.
“He has that bravado that a leader is supposed to have,” said Moran.
Dustin was a snare drummer in the band’s drumline before accepting his position as drum major, and the members of the line were excited that one of their own was selected.
“I never thought I’d live to see the day that someone on the drumline becomes drum major,” said fellow drummer Bradley Anzalone, SPS freshman.
According to Dustin, his dad is more than proud with his appointment.
“He is ecstatic to see that I have followed in his footsteps,” Dustin said.
During Pierre Simoneaux’s time as drum major at St. Paul’s, he was the one and only drum major at the time. The addition of a junior drum major did not come until later. Because of this, Pierre had to “do the work of two,” as he told students during this year’s band camp.
When Pierre learned of his son’s appointment, he reports being moved to tears.
“I knew what the band meant to me and what it means to Dustin,” said Pierre. “I’m most looking forward to watching my son perform and watching him and the band light up the crowd.”
The Marching Wolves will perform their first halftime show at the first home football game against Edna Karr High School on Friday, Sept. 5. During the home game against Covington High on Friday, Oct. 24, alumni band members, including Pierre Simoneaux, will join the Marching Wolves on the field to perform together during the halftime show.
“I hope this will be the biggest alumni band event ever,” said Pierre, who is working with Moran and the SPS drum majors to try to create a joint performance combining alumni musicians and Golden Blues members together with both the Marching Wolves and the Covington High band.