When students think of drumline, they often think about parade the halls during homecoming week. Although Sam Hall, Stuart Swearingen, Grant Nickles, and Josh McDowell all agree that parade the halls is the best part, there is more that goes on behind the scenes.
“Memorizing show music is probably the hardest part of drumline” said Swearingen, a freshman snare player.
McDowell, a senior bass player, finds drumline to be fun; however, he also agrees that it can be challenging.
“Sometimes it can be hard marching and learning the steps,” said McDowell.
Nickles, a senior tenor player, said, “staying clean can be hard.” To a drummer, “clean” means sounding good and being in sync with everyone else.
As one could tell, drumline involves a lot of practice. In fact, walking inside from north lot during the morning, you might have heard them banging away. Or perhaps, during a football game, you might have seen their intricate marching formations while they play.
“Playing cadence for the student section and parading the stands is the best part,” said Sophia Pike, a freshman tenor player.
Pike, who also plays violin and trombone, is one of two tenor players. This sometimes presents huge challenges.
“As the second tenor player, it can be a challenge matching Grant and staying clean with him,” Pike said.
Nickles, Hall, McDowell, Pike, and Swearingen started their percussion careers in middle school. All of them joined drumline during their freshman year. Swearingen and Nickles played piano before coming to percussion which helped with their cadence and rhythm.