Proffitt marches to own drumbeat

Photo By Kristen Luther
Nathan Proffitt (left) plays the snare drum in the Happy Valley High School band. Proffitt is pictured with Lee Ruffin, the band's director.

By Greg Miller
star staff

  While some people march to the beat of a different drummer, 17-year-old Nathan Proffitt marches to his own drumbeat.
  Proffitt plays the snare drum in the Happy Valley High School band. He began playing the drums while he was a sixth-grader at Indian Trail Middle School in Johnson City.
  The atmosphere during Happy Valley's football games, Proffitt said, is exciting. "Everybody is real happy. You want to be there. It's real fun and is something that is real enjoyable. Everybody enjoys listening to the band, so it makes it more fun for us, too."
  Proffitt plans to enroll in college and major in business. He is considering several colleges and eventually hopes to operate his own greenhouse.
  Prior to last week's homecoming game with South Greene High School, Proffitt was looking forward "to seeing who wins and being able to play our show again and going to another football game. They're always fun."
  Happy Valley's band program "is always getting better," Proffitt said. "I think we have something to look forward to every year. As the players get better, the band gets better."
  The most enjoyable aspects of being in the band include "hanging out with all your friends and going to the games, competitions and trips..."
  Riding on the bus to the games is a memorable experience for Proffitt. "People are always singing on the bus," he said. "When we go to competitions and we win, on the way back people are always yelling. It's fun."
  Proffitt has also participated in the Johnson City Community Band, the East Tennessee State University Honors Band, and the All-County Band.