Capper makes the beat go on

Del Oro drum major leads band, relates to peers
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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The crowd of fans at Del Oro High School lulls to a hush as the band takes the football field. At the helm of the Golden Eagles Marching Band, dressed in a prestigious white uniform, is drum major Jared Capper. He climbs the steps to his platform. From there, his conducting unifies the group of individual musicians into a single ensemble. At the wave of his gloved hands, wind and percussion instruments begin to harmonize in synch, emanating “The Star-Spangled Banner.” “He keeps every kid on tempo. He is right there with them,” said Band Director Ben Duncan. “He kind of has his finger on the pulse of the band.” It’s a position that has been two years in the making for Capper, a clarinet player. Duncan said future drum majors try out as sophomores and spend their junior year as an apprentice. A combination of Capper’s musical and leadership abilities landed him the role, according to Duncan. Aside from being the first conductor, Capper acts as a bridge between peers. Sometimes that means being a conflict manager. “I started playing clarinet in fourth grade. My mom would always say, ‘I used to play the clarinet,’” Capper said. “I’ve always wanted to be in a leadership position. I had a friend that said I would be really good at it.” Growing up, Capper may have gotten some of his musical aptitude from his mother, but it was his father who gave him his taste in music. “At heart, I would consider myself a rocker,” Capper said. “I enjoy punk rock, hard rock, heavy metal. I listen to pop rock. I recently have been quite into 80s pop. Peter Gabriel is one of my all-time favorites. My dad gave me my taste in music.” Capper said he also listens to a fair share of classical music to stay well-rounded. When he bought his first car, there was one major criteria in its selection — it had to have the capability to hold an adapter for his iPod. The 1989 Buick Lesabre, with a custom hood, is Capper’s pride and joy. He got it for a bargain from his grandparents. “I got it for $1,” Capper said. When he’s not cruising in his Buick, Capper and fellow band member senior tuba player Robert Wood relish in getting the crowd pumped up at football games. They even coordinate songs with the cheer and dance teams. Capper said he is looking forward to playing “September” by Earth, Wind and Fire soon. Between band practices and performing at games, the Golden Eagles Marching Band also makes time to go head-to-head with other school bands in local competitions. Del Oro’s next competition, slated for October, is at the Oakmont Band Review. Capper said what the band looks forward to most each year is the Band Spectacular. This year’s 32nd event will take place on Oct. 15 at Del Oro. Wood said he has been thankful for Capper’s leadership, on and off the field. “On the field it’s more of a professional relationship. He gets us all together as a group. He sort of unifies us,” Wood said. “Off the field it’s more of a family relationship. He provides a nice person to talk to and go to to discuss kid problems.” Reach Sara Seyydin at