‘Being on that field lights a fire under us’: West Point’s Olivia Curtis recaps sophomore season

West Point’s Olivia Curtis. (Courtesy of Olivia Curtis)

WEST POINT, Ala. – In this interview, I talked to West Point junior majorette Olivia Curtis, and she recapped her sophomore year in the band. Olivia learned and went through a lot during the year with her fellow bandmates and she believes those experiences brought them all even closer together.

“I feel that we had a really great season last year. I believe that as a whole production, we grew. We learned a lot of new ways to communicate as leaders and I learned how to become a leader. We had several ups-and-downs last season with several people being injured, but we adjusted, and we prayed through it all,” Curtis said. “I really believe the tough times we had last season brought us closer to where it made us feel like a family.”

Olivia will be going into her fifth year in the band, and she has enjoyed every second of it. She was the majorette captain last year and she was blessed to get that role. She was named the auxiliary captain for this upcoming season, and she was so happy when she got the news.

“Being a part of the West Point High School Marching Warrior Band is amazing. As a band, we are disciplined and that is what shapes us into being great. Through the past four years of my time in the band, I have learned how to communicate, be myself, have fun, take constructive criticism as a learning curve, and how to be a team leader,” Curtis said. “Being named captain last year was a blessing at the least. I looked up to Alexia Adair when I was younger, and she assured me that I too could be in her shoes one day. She equipped me and built me up into the leader that I am today, along with Heidi Armstrong, who is my best friend, but was also a really amazing leader in the band. She never failed to make everything fun, but she made us work hard for what we wanted. She inspired me to work hard to achieve greatness. The feeling of being named the auxiliary captain is unexplainable, to be completely honest. I am proud of myself, and I am super excited to lead.”

Olivia has been blessed to work with a couple of great band directors and she has learned some things since becoming a majorette.

“Mr. Patrick was very constructive. He was a very serious leader and he meant business, but that shaped the band into meaning business as well. He enjoyed making us laugh and having a good time, but when it came to work, he made us work hard. Mr. Walker has been absolutely fantastic to me and to our band. He has given me words of wisdom in times that I needed them, and he has seen my potential. He helped me grow, not just as a twirler or a performer, but as an individual. He leads our band with much pride and love and that shines through not just him, but all of us,” Curtis said. “Since being a majorette, I have learned the importance of teamwork. As a team, we have to work together on and off the field.”

Olivia talked about the upcoming halftime show and she has learned so much since being in the band.

“This year, our halftime show will be called ‘The Reflections of Us’. We reflect back on our past years, and we show how much we have grown and how unstoppable the Warrior band will be. Two of the songs that we will be playing in our show will be ‘Man in the Mirror’ by Michael Jackson and ‘Unstoppable’ by Sia,” she said. “The biggest thing that I have learned since being in the band is to shine bright in the dark. Last season, we went through a lot of setbacks, but something that Mrs. Brittany Peak, our sponsor, instilled in us is that prayer will overcome our setbacks. We prayed before every practice, game, and competition. We prayed over the sick and the injured in our group continuously and I feel that our achievements from last season were great, but we can’t take the glory for them because truly, the glory is to God. He got us through those times, and He shined bright for us in the dark.”

Olivia worked on a lot of things to get ready for this upcoming band season and talked about her goals and the band’s goal.

“I have done a lot of planning and preparing for this season, both mentally and physically. Band is not only a sport, but it’s a mental game as well. We have to be determined to achieve greatness and work hard,” she said. “The team goal for this year is to grow. We have declared that this season is a season of growth. We have a lot of new people this year and my goal is to help set an example and to help them grow, not only as a performer, but as a leader, because I was also in their shoes. My individual goals are to improve my leadership skills and be the best me that I can be.”

Olivia soaked up as much as she could from last year’s seniors and thinks this band season will be a very special one.

“All the seniors had the same mentality. They wanted what was best for the band, even if that meant sacrificing a couple of things. I learned to have fun and to set a good example for the younger performers,” she said. “Something that is special about our band is our pride. We love our band and we want to be the absolute best we can be. Being on that field lights a fire under us and we give 110% every time we walk out on the field. That is what makes us special.”

Olivia talked about some band members that she looked up to and the best advice that someone ever gave her.

“In my past years, I really looked up to Cass Barron and Camron Haynes. They had a love for band like no other and they were great leaders. I also looked up to Ashley Mann, because she gave me so much hope and encouraged me to always be the best me. Heidi Armstrong was, by far, my biggest idol in the band. She was an amazing leader and friend. She was very kind and loving to everyone she came in contact with. She shines so bright for our Lord and she inspired me to have great faith,” she said. “The best advice that I was ever given is to stand firm. Brittany Peak once told me that having good morals and building a good foundation for yourself will get me places and help me achieve my dreams.”

Olivia can’t wait to take the field again and she has been helping the new and younger band members get better and better each day.

“I’m looking forward to taking the field again, but this time, we are adding a few more band members to the mix. This year will be a great opportunity to show what the Warrior band is all about,” she said. “I have tried my best to teach them to stay positive. A lot of times, they get upset if they can’t achieve things right away and I try my best to give them the encouragement and the positivity they need.”

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