Students March to the Beat of Their Own Drum


Lights shining on the field, screaming fans all in their sight, the sound of football players smashing together is behind them. That is the perspective the drumline has during football season.

Drumline is a class of students who are instructed by Chad Mason. Drumline is known as the group who plays catchy cadences or songs in front of the student section during football season, however there’s much more to them.

“During marching band season we have practice Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 4:15 p.m. to around 6:45. However on Friday when we have games it’s 7 a.m. to 8 a.m,” said senior snare drum section leader Cameron Motherwell.

Within the drumline, students can hold different positions. The section leader does what the percussion director tells them to do with their section. Motherwell explains how they work together but, “ultimately what she says goes.”

The whole drumline plays during the fall, instruments such as the snare drum, bass drum, cymbals, quads (the group of four drums stuck together) marimbas, vibraphones, triangles, shakers and xylophone are the front ensemble or pit and are also considered to be apart of drumline.

“I have great friends in drumline, so it’s made me want to stay in it all four years. It’s also driven me to make myself a better drummer,” said Motherwell.

They practice over the summer as well as choreograph with the cheerleaders so that the chants or dances goes to the rhythm of the beat.

“My freshmen year it was difficult balancing my social life, academics and drumline,” said Mothwell. “After all this time it’s pretty easy and just comes naturally now.”

Since the season has begun cooling, the drumline has the chance to participate in indoor drumline, which is a more selective group who competes until April. Unlike drumline, indoor drumline only consists of the drums.

“I prefer the indoor season,” said Motherwell. “I enjoy how the music is more difficult and it just focuses on us.”

They compete in five competitions through out their season with three in February, one in March and one in April.

“During indoor season, on competition weeks, we have 4-7 p.m. practice Tuesdays. Thursdays we have 6-9 p.m. Although during non-competiton weekends we have the same practice on Tuesdays, then practice on Saturday from 10-1 p.m. and usually one hour section during the week,” said Motherwell.

Indoor drumline also performs a show. This year’s is called Direction. During the show they are going to incorporate the different ways you can use the word direction, whether it’s for navigation or the direction one should take in life.

“Mr. Mason has been a great instructor for me. He knows so much about music,” said Motherwell. “He has taught me everything. I like to think he’ll miss us, and it’ll be weird missing something that is such a huge part of my life right now.”