Marching Forward: Drum Major Ariana Giammanco

Drum Major Ariana Giammanco conducting the Ramapo Marching Band.

John Baiata

Drum Major Ariana Giammanco conducting the Ramapo Marching Band.

Kathryn Haig

The name Ariana Giammanco is synonymous with music. The sound of her saxophone has serenaded us in marching band, wind ensemble, and Jazz Band for four years. With her promotion to drum major, we have finally been introduced to the person responsible for the bewitching sound.
Raised by a family devoted to music, Giammanco always has a melody in her head, a song in her heart, and a beat in her step. A dedicated and talented saxophone player and pianist, Giammanco has been a member of the marching band since freshman year. According to Marching Band advisor Mr. Sloezen, “Ariana has really stepped up this year during her first year as drum major. I am always able to count on her to be a positive and kind voice in the band when dealing with staff and other students.” In addition to her undeniable dependability, Mr. Sloezen applauds Giammanco’s courage “to ask for help when she feels it will improve either her performance or the band as a whole.” Not one to settle for “acceptable,” Giammanco produces exceptional results, her grit and determination evident in her conducting and every piece she performs. When Ariana Giammanco sets her mind to something, there is nothing anyone can do to stop her.
Clara Bennett-Jones, Giammanco’s fellow drum major, corroborates Mr. Sloezen’s praise: “Being able to work alongside Ariana has been such a pleasure because it doesn’t take long to see how hard she works. She’s the first to practice, she’s the last to get out, and she may not be the loudest, but she knows what she’s doing and does what needs to be done. Whether it’s cleaning up or helping the staff, she’s always there and willing to pick up the slack.” Having risen to the challenge of drum major, Giammanaco is always fully present, her steadfast devotion and eagerness earning her the utmost respect. Bennett-Jones says, “She’s […] really come out of her shell since the beginning of the season, which is so great to see, because she’s such a talented drum major with great ideas, so I just think it’s really cool seeing her lead the band with confidence.”
An incredibly hard worker and never willing to back down, Giammanco is an inspiration to all. As Mr. Sloezen points out, she is “an important student leader” in Wind Ensemble, “being among the first to learn her music and making sure the room is organized at the end of rehearsals.” Giammanco always leaves a place and the people in it better than she found it. Mr. Sloezen describes her “calming demeanor and desire to help however best she can” as crucial to the band’s success.
Rooted in music is a sense of unity, a peace of mind and body. In fact, Giammanco’s “favorite part about playing music is being able to hear the piece you’ve been working on for so long come together and sound amazing. I love how playing live music feels, it’s a different experience from just listening to music.” Whether she’s playing the saxophone or piano, conducting the marching band, or listening to a song at full blast, Giammanco is a young woman in perfect harmony.
Although Ramapo will sorely miss Ariana Giammanco, we are excited to see what she will become. Ariana, your persistence in what truly matters is going to take you far in life. Keep marching forward.