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Q&A with Band President Anna Pintchouk

Senior Anna Pintchouk talked about her experience as Band President.

Senior Anna Pintchouk talked about her experience as Band President.

Senior Anna Pintchouk talked about her experience as Band President.


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Maya Kanani (MK): How long have you been in band?

Anna Pintchouk (AP): I have been in band for 4 years, including this year.


MK: Why did you join band?

AP: I decided to continue on with band in high school because I felt as though I had barely begun learning how to play the trombone in middle school and I really loved it so it would have been a shame if I gave it up without having the full experience of it. Also, music and playing an instrument was a great distraction for me.


MK: Why did you decide to do marching band?

AP: Honestly, I only decided to do marching band because it was part of the package of being in band in high school. My dumb middle school self thought the activity of marching was quite embarrassing and a little hardcore. Thankfully, high school and marching band has taught me to stop caring what other people think.


MK: What is your favorite part of being in band?

AP: My favorite part of being in band is that it gives me an escape from the stress of school. Walking into the band hall is like walking into a chaotic room where academics and college are pushed into a corner. The people in that room creating the chaos are people who I spend more than 24 hours a week with, and as noisy as they get, they can also be a second family to me.


MK: What is the most difficult part of being in band?

AP: The most difficult part of being in band is how much time it takes up. It is almost ridiculous how big of a commitment it is. For half of the year, we have 2 hour long practices every day after school, football games every week, and 12 hour long contests every other week. Right now, I am looking at my college resume and the only extracurricular I have on it is band and I am wishing colleges could take a look at that and understand how much dedication this one activity took and give me $20,000 worth of scholarships.


MK: How do you balance band with the rest of your extracurriculars?

AP: Balancing band with extracurriculars is incredibly difficult. Band is basically the only extracurricular I take part it. I do volunteer occasionally and am a part of my Ukrainian community, but the only explanation I have for accomplishing the balance of these responsibilities is by drinking lots of coffee!


MK: Why did you decide to run for president?

AP: I could say that I decided to run for president because of college applications, but the main reason I made this decision was because I love the people in band and I wanted to give them back what they deserve. I have experienced periodic toxic environments in the band and it was typically attributed to the leadership at that time. It angered me to know what was going on behind people’s backs, as well as what was going on behind my back, and the only way I could stop this from happening again was to assume a role of leadership myself.


MK: What is the protocol for running?

AP: The protocol for running for president requires an interview with the band director and assistant band director, a speech to the entire band, and a popular vote by the band. In addition to that, the candidates must have moderately good grades and a record of good conduct.


MK: How did you feel when you first found out you were president?

AP: I was absolutely ecstatic when I found out I had won the election for president. I felt as if I really deserved it. It was a proof of how much I, as a person, have grown in my high school career. Coming into 9th grade, I had a past of self-consciousness, anxiety, and a lack of sociability. I did not consider nor did I ever want to be a leader of anything my freshman year.


MK: What is the most rewarding part of being president?

AP: The most rewarding aspect of being president is that I have the power to call everyone together, listen to everything everyone has to say, and work with all of band leadership to conglomerate all of our opinions and observations into one product.


MK: Is there anything else that you think is important for me to include?

AP: I want to answer a question that I have been struggling with since the beginning of the year. ‘What is the hardest part about being a leader?’ Before the school year started, an immediate family member of mine died unexpectedly. There were so many unresolved emotions left behind, and I was expected to put them aside to focus on the needs of other people. As a leader, you have to put your needs beneath the pressing needs of those who you are responsible for. But as crucial as that is, you need to find the time to take care of your own needs or else they will unpredictably surface and hurt other people. The balance between meeting your emotional necessities and meeting the overall necessities of the people you lead for is undoubtedly the hardest thing a leader can experience.

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