Nathan Huxtable's marching experience includes tenures with The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps (2015-2017), Cavaliers Indoor Percussion (2015-2018), Green Thunder Percussion (2013-2014), and the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps (2014). He currently the front ensemble technician with the Batavia (Illinois) High School Marching Band, his alma mater.
Huxtable studies ethnomusicology at Northwestern University, where he specializes in understanding the social and historical implications of pageantry arts performance. His thesis uses oral histories to explore the history of The Nisei Ambassadors, a primarily Japanese-American drum corps active in Chicago during the 1960s and 70s. Beyond his interests in marching arts and music academia, Nathan is also an avid esports fan (primarily of Counter-Strike, Starcraft, and League of Legends) and lifelong baseball card collector.
Huxtable is most excited to grow the percussion section for Chromium Winds this year, and plans on bringing his experience from The Cavaliers' Front Ensemble into the newer environment of WGI Winds.
His biggest inspirations are his former instructors in The Cavaliers and his former high school marching band director.
What advice would you give someone auditioning for Chromium Winds?
For auditions, if you have a goal group you would like to march with, get your name in early. Too many great performers wait too long and don't go for their dream group until their age-out, and then know none of the members or staff when they get there. Get in there early; even if it's not your year, you will get to know people, you'll be top of mind next season around, and you'll know what the group's culture is.
During auditions, make visible, audible changes immediately when staff asks you to. Molding fast to what the staff asks of you, even if it feels different to you, screams that you are a good student and that you deserve a spot because you will be a pleasure to work with.
Above all, be flexible. You'll be asked to do new things, and that's okay. Staff members don't expect it to be perfect right away; they expect you to take in information and make a concerted, obvious effort to apply that on the next rep.
What’s your favorite story or memory from when you were a performer?
My marching band director in high school marched The Cavaliers from 2001 through 2004. After coming back to teach at my high school (his alma mater), he made the marching band competitive. In the band's third season of competition, we won a small local show during the early season with a poor run-through. In our post-show meeting, he made it clear that, even though we won, that did not make it a ""good show."" Instead, he emphasized that the quality of the run-through, compared to our current standard and level, was the sole determinant of whether the show was ""good"" or ""bad.""
This experience taught me that numerical results are not a measure of success and that true success in the marching arts comes from performing a show at your absolute best, no matter the circumstances or the score at the end.