Not Quite the Final Bow

Senior to Spend Summer in Drum Corps Before Starting College


Senior Nick Doluisio prepares to take his final bow as a drum major for the CPHS band. On Nov. 5, 2022, the CPHS band ended the marching season with BOA San Antonio. “The role of the drum major and what it has provided me the opportunities to do is just so fulfilling,” Doluisio said. (Photo courtesy of Kate Noren)

Grace Courtright, Guest Reporter

It’s been seven years since the 2023 senior class was in sixth grade, and like most of the award-winning band, senior Nick Doluisio has been in a band class since then. He has two state titles and countless other accolades as part of the marching band. 

“Over time I have learned to be grateful to be in such an amazing program that is capable of making these accomplishments,” Doluisio said. “What makes band memorable for me are not the trophies, but the performance and pride that cannot be replicated, doing something all together as a team and as a family.”

Doluisio plays the clarinet, which is a marching and concert instrument. As a freshman and sophomore, Doluisio played his clarinet during marching season, and earned a drum major position for junior and senior year marching band. The four drum majors don’t play their instruments during marching season, instead, they conduct the band as a team.

“The concert season is fully back to playing the clarinet,” Doluisio said. “So keeping up with the instrument during marching season is still important.” 

Doluisio has been a part of the honor band since his sophomore year and has made it to regions in TMEA competitions with prepared etudes, which are pieces of music from a study book. He auditioned with instruments for the region band including the E-flat clarinet, and the A-clarinet. Students play a cut of each of the etudes assigned at an audition with over 100 clarinets from around the area. According to Doluisio, only about 38 get into the region band. 

“This year for UIL, We played ‘Pines of Rome,’ which is one of the pentacles of a concert band,” Doluisio said. “It is just one of those pieces that people know and it’s a really exciting piece. I’m really enjoying it; it’s been my favorite year so far. I really enjoy being a senior and being a role model and being more of a featured player in our music.”

This fall wasn’t Doluisio’s last marching season though, because he is doing drum corps this summer with Boston Crusaders, a world-class drum corps that is like a professional marching band. During the last week of school, Doluisio will be moving to Vermont for spring training.

 “I’m really excited about that,” Doluisio said. “From there, we travel to the entire country for the summer doing different shows. That is a way that I’ll be able to stay with music because I am not majoring in music in college. And it’ll be a nice release for me because I really do like drum major and the role.”

That was kind of my goal this year, to really make everyone in the band program feel included. I don’t think that’s something I’ll ever get to experience again, just that influence and being that kind of role model for so many people. It’s really cool.

— Nick Doluisio, 12

Doluisio said the last high school marching season was bittersweet.

“This year was the first time that I really felt like I could connect with any person in the program,” Doluisio said. “It’s really cool to be able to build relationships, especially with freshmen, and I kind of wish I had that person when I was a freshman, who came up to me and wanted to be my friend. That was kind of my goal this year, to really make everyone in the band program feel included. I don’t think that’s something I’ll ever get to experience again, just that influence and being that kind of role model for so many people. It’s really cool.”

Doluisio will be attending  University of Texas at Austin for biochemistry on the pre-law track.

 “I really do want to go to law school, that is something I’m looking forward to doing,” Doluisio said. “I’m really interested in policy.” 

On top of band camp last summer,  Doluisio was in the Boys State program and went to the capital for a mock government simulation camp over the weekend where he got to propose the establishment of a state mental health office, which hasn’t existed in Texas since 1994. 

“It was really cool because I got to pass my own initiatives and put them through the House and the Senate,” Doluisio said. “Leadership is something I’m really passionate about, so being involved in policy specifically is just something I’m really passionate about as well as creating change. I think law is the best emphasis for me.”

Stretching himself thin, Doluisio learned how to balance the drum major position while keeping up with being a talented student.

“The past year has been by far the most difficult year for me mentally, emotionally, physically even, and I’ve had to take a step back, especially from band and school, and just really work on myself and prioritize myself,” Doluisio said. 

Doluisio says he’s gone through a lot of challenges but certainly had people to help him get through them. He now hopes to be a beacon for people who might struggle with mental health. 

”I think the universe works in really strange ways and really powerful ways and the connections I’ve built with people have really kept me here and made me realize that I’m needed and I’m valued,” Doluisio said.  “Everyone deserves to know that there are people older than them who have also struggled with this, even people you look up to can have struggled with this.”