The face behind the music: Senior Macy Oberhart marches her way to the top


Oberhart directs the Marching Millers during a football game.

Kaita Gorsuch and Breanna Helms

Have you ever wondered who was behind the counts of show choir or the rhythm of the marching band at NHS? Who leads the band and is a great teammate in New Dimension? Senior Macy Oberhart, who is currently the senior drum major and a participant in New Dimension, is the face behind the music. 


Rockin’ it in marching band 

The Noblesville Marching Millers are able to rehearse and perform the way they do because of the drum majors, especially the senior drum major. What many people do not see behind the scenes is all of the time and effort that Oberhart has put into the band program—taking attendance, leading the band when staff members aren’t around, among various other small tasks that the directors don’t have time for. On top of that, she conducts a several-minute-long marching show. Despite all of the craziness that comes with the job, Oberhart continues being the drum major because she loves it.

“I love performing and I love making music with people who I love,” Oberhart said. “I love the feeling of being a leader in band and having lots of people look up to me and rely on me, and I love being around my friends,” Oberhart said. 

Even though there are many amazing opportunities one can find and people one can meet as a drum major, it is not always as glamorous as it may first appear.

“I struggle with anxiety sometimes so in band I have definitely felt a lot of pressure,” Oberhart said. “And it’s been somewhat scary to be a leader and have such a big role because a lot of people are relying on you. That can be very hard to deal with. It’s a lot of pressure.”

Not only does the senior drum major have to lead the band, but they also have to teach the junior drum major how to be a leader so they can lead once the senior drum major has graduated. The junior drum major, Cole Melton, spent months working with Oberhart and learning from her, and he thinks that she is not only a great leader, but a great teacher as well.

“Macy did not hesitate to teach me everything I needed to know for this season and next. She is really good at explaining processes clearly and quickly, and before long I had a complete understanding of how to be a drum major,” said Melton.

However difficult her job as a drum major may be, Oberhart always steps up to the challenge and has made it one of her goals in life to continue leading. 

“I really love leading and I would love to just be an influencer on others’ lives,” Oberhart said.


The inspiration behind the music

There are a lot of people in Oberhart’s life that inspire her: her mom, the band directors Eric Thornbury and Jacob Crossley, and her old section leader Evan Meinerding. However, there is one person in particular that inspired her to be the person she is today—her older brother Riley who passed when she was in eighth grade.

“I was the little sister that wanted to be just like him or wanted to do everything that he did,” Oberhart said.

Riley participated in a lot of the same activities when he was in high school. He was in band and show choir, and he even was the drum major.

“When he became drum major, I knew I wanted to be drum major, and he was probably one of the biggest reasons why I do what I do,” said Oberhart. “He was such an amazing leader. I’ve had multiple people come up to me and say that they knew him and that he was the reason [they] stayed in band or the reason they do what they do.”


A whole new world

While Oberhart enjoys being a part of the instrumental side of music, she also enjoys singing and dancing with NHS’s all-women’s show choir, New Dimension. 

“I really love to sing and I really love to make an amazing performance with people who I genuinely care about. I also love to dance and create a different perspective of myself on the stage in show choir,” Oberhart said. 

Getting ready to perform for show choir or marching band are two different rituals to Oberhart. 

“For show choir I usually try to get a lot more excited and hyped, and try to create a very lighthearted energy before my performances because I am performing for myself and all of the other girls in the choir and there is just a higher energy aspect of show choir and so I like to get my mind in that.” Oberhart said. 

Oberhart says that she struggles with anxiety so it’s very important to Oberhart to create a light hearted aura in the dressing rooms with her team.


A director’s note

Not only does Oberhart put everything she has into her performances to affect her audiences, she also has left a lasting effect on the people she has worked with. 

“I describe her as a strong drum major, a great conductor, and a likable, fun personality that translates to our band,” Thornbury said.

As for the show choir leaders, Riley Hobbs and Joy Reks, the two New Dimension dance captains have prior experience working with Oberhart.

“Whenever we do sight reading in class and Mrs. Maxwell always asks what key it is or something, Maxwell teases her in something like, “Okay we know Macy has it already.” Reks said. “And girls in ND always mess around about, if the lights go out during our performance, Macy [Oberhart] and Joy [Reks] will both keep us on tempo for sure.” 

Working with instruments helps Oberhart practice with sight reading and vocal warm ups during show choir as it keeps her on tempo. 

“She’s a strong performer and she always take critiques and fixes them immediately.” Hobbs said. “She’s really smart and is always willing to help out others.” 

While Oberhart does a lot for New Dimension, there are other peers that look up to her in marching band as well. After working with her for less than a year, Melton agrees that Oberhart has affected him and helped him become a better leader. 

“She is the very strong leader that I aspire to be someday, and hardly a practice goes by where I don’t learn something new from her. I really admire how well she communicates socially, but also how well she is able to lead in the face of uncertainty,” Melton said.

“Macy is a natural born leader. She is hard working, positive, enjoyable to be around, and humorous.” Reks said.