Drumline marches into the spotlight

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Mac Harden

Drum Line dropping some pretty sweet beats at practice in the quad. They work hard during the week to practice for their upcoming competitions.

Pa rum pum pum pum plays the little drummer boy.

But Battery is much more than a little boy banging chopsticks against a plastic drum; it is a family.

“Most people have an escape, an activity that they really like doing to take their mind off of school and homework,” junior Danny Wilson said. “For me, being part of battery has been that thing and it is that for a lot of people. Members come and say that it is a great thing to do outside of school. I think being able to be a part of that and help lead is really important and special to me.”

Members of battery love it because they can identify themselves as a drummer, but more specifically they are the beat and cadence of the band. This responsibility results in a tightly knit clan, as they spend lots of time together outside of and during school to perfect their rhythms.

“It is unique. You can go out there and say ‘I was in battery and drumline when I was in high school’ and no one knows what you are talking about, besides the movie ‘Drumline,'” senior captain Brian Lee said.¬† “You are so close with these people that you can share emotions only with them. There are only a few of us, and we make it partially exclusive. Not that we are intentionally excluding outsiders. It is just a side effect being together so much.”

Attending all school pep rallies, football games, four or five out-of-school competitions and wearing funky uniforms remains requirements for all battery drummers.

“You get up, practice for a couple hours, load your instruments into the trailer and go off to another high school,” Lee said. “Once you reach the destination, you must unload and start practicing in the lot for an hour or hour and half. Next, you move to the gym where you unfold the drumline floor (mini football filed), make formation, perform the show and then the judges judge you. After finishing the piece, you march off and enjoy the rest of your day eating cookies while waiting for the awards.”

Drummers strive for perfection because it is easy to tell when a drummer makes a mistake. Reaching this synchronized precision is a constant challenge for the musicians as they are frequently given new instructions and adapt to new situations but in the end it all pays off.

“I would definitely suggest it to other people,” senior captain Matt Kreml said. “Battery is more about character. You have to work with these 13 or 14 other people and carry the responsibilities to do it well every time because you can not hide. It will become your family.”