BHS’ Savannah Walcott to study music at UMass Lowell this fall

EDITOR’S NOTE: Each year, the Bedford Journal profiles an outstanding senior at Bedford High School leading up to graduation. This year, BHS senior Savannah Walcott was chosen.

How many 18-year-olds do you know who can juggle, play the saxophone and lead a marching band? All in a hard day’s work for soon to be Bedford High School graduate, Savannah Walcott.

Walcott, who moved to Bedford the summer before her freshmen year of high school, has been playing the saxophone for eight years. In the fall, when she’s not studying music composition as an International Baccalaureate student, Walcott can be found under the stadium lights leading the marching band as drum major for football half-time shows.

“I’ve been the drum major for the past two years. I was really good friends with the drum major before me. He inspired me,” Walcott said. “We moved to Bedford because BHS has a better curriculum. I think what I like most about BHS is the people. Everyone’s really nice and welcoming.”

As drum major, Walcott’s duties are to help prepare the marching band, as well as conduct.

“Savannah is a fine student. She’s contributed quite a lot to the success of the marching band,” said Bedford High School band director Jim Butka. “Last summer, she designed the BHS football half-time show using special marching drill software. For her to do that helped the music department save a significant amount of money. She’s also started a new tradition in which the students want to design more half-time shows in the future.”

“There are two drum majors, so we split the time 50-50. When I’m not conducting, I get to play the saxophone. It’s exciting and exhilarating; it’s your moment to shine.”

In the spring, you can find Walcott performing with the jazz band and rehearsing for school events like graduation.

”This year, our school’s jazz band will perform the ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ for graduation.” Walcott said. Graduating “is a little sad. I don’t think I realize I’m graduating. Once summer vacation starts, it will be sad to move on. Two of my best friends are going to school in Florida.”

Walcott will study music studies at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, Mass. She aspires to become a music teacher or a band director. Recently, she received the John Phillip Sousa Band Award for outstanding achievement and interest in instrumental music.

Her interest in music started with her father, a trombonist, who played for a band. When she entered middle school, a fellow classmate inspired her to pick up the flute.

“But I didn’t like the feel of it,” Walcott said. “So I switched to the saxophone.”

“Savannah started improvising in jazz band this year, which was really great to see. She had a few improvisational solos,” Butka said.

“Playing the saxophone is fun for me. It’s a stress relief. I like to do it a lot because it makes me feel better about myself,” Walcott said.

On the weekends, Walcott enjoys playing in a punk rock band with her friends called ‘Secondary Motion.’ The band is currently trying to get their song on iTunes.

“We have to get the song copywrited first,” Walcott said. “I’m not entirely sure of the process after that, the other band mates are working on it.”

What are some hobbies she enjoys outside of music?

“I’m a huge Harry Potter fan. I hope to attend a mock quidditch game some day,” Walcott said. “I also really like the circus. I can juggle and I’m learning how to unicycle.”

“I’m really going to miss her. It’s very sad to see her go. I know she’ll be successful in the future,” Butka said. “She’s been a great role model and she’s very committed to music. Music is her life and the other students gravitate towards her.”

Katelyn Dobbs can be reached at 594-6549 or kdobbs@