Student spotlight: Zoe Tapp

Zoe Tapp has two memorable moments on the field when performing to the song “You Are My Sunshine” by Johnny Cash. The first was at a high school competition, and the second was at Tiger Stadium.

Zoe is a sophomore on the Demon Heat flag team. Her flag team career began when she was a sophomore at St. Amant High School in St. Amant, Louisiana. This will mark her fifth year on a flag team.

“There’s a lot of amazing moments right from the moment that you first get on the field and you perform for your first game,” she said. “It’s just that feeling of rush.”

Some events that have occurred in her life have made the feeling of performing change, leading to two emotional performances.

Zoe’s junior year of high school was hit by a flood in 2016.

The only thing that went through her mind was when she would be able to touch another flag. She wondered when she would be able to perform on the field again.

St. Amant High School has one of the largest bands in the state, and when the flood hit the school lost thousands of dollars worth of instruments.

“We lost our field, and pretty much everything,” she said.

Louisiana Showcase of Marching Bands, the high school marching band championships, is held at the University of Lafayette in early November.

“Our band directors called them and said that they wouldn’t be able to perform because we didn’t have the instruments, money or time,” she said.

The board understood that the St. Amant band could not compete but asked if the band could still perform for an exhibition.

“It’s like a half time show, but we’re just performing,” she said.

LSU’s band director at the time contacted the high school and twisted a performance LSU had done to a mix of songs, including “You Are My Sunshine,” into a show for the high school to do.

“That was one of the best feelings, being able to know that we can still perform,” she said. “We still have the great support from everyone.”

In eight practices, NSU’s drum line, Drum Corps International, which provided color guard flags and marching band supplies, and different colleges around the nation came to help her high school perform a memorable routine in a time when they needed it the most.

When it came to performance day, she was nothing short of emotional.

“One of my favorite parts was ‘You Are My Sunshine’ because that is Louisiana’s state song,” she said. “It’s personal to me because my grandmother raised me on listening to that. Every time I thought of that, I thought of my grandmother, my family and how proud I am to be from Louisiana.”

The high school received two standing ovations. The first was when they entered, and the second was at the end.

“That was one of the most amazing experiences I had ever felt,” she said.

This September, NSU’s football team played LSU. The Spirit of Northwestern performed on LSU’s field in Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge.

“This was already a dream for me because I had been raised as a Tiger fan,” she said.

During the half time show, the Golden Band from Tigerland and the Spirit of Northwestern came together and performed to the songs “You Are My Sunshine” and “America the Beautiful.”

“Being able to perform that in front of basically home where I know so many people, where my family was there being able to see me once for the first and last time they will be able to see me and where my friends at LSU are that cheered on was one of the best feelings,” she said.

It was a momentous occasion for her and a personal memory that she will always cherish.

“I know that whenever ‘You Are My Sunshine’ comes on or whenever I’m performing that everything is alright,” she said.

Trinity Velazquez

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