This marching season, Hickory High School had a rough start. The day before we started band camp, our 5th bass drum player was murdered along with his father in their home. He had been in percussion for 3 years and was going into his senior year. The father was a very active band parent too.
Everyone knew them both, because of their outgoing personalities. They were loved by everyone because they had so much love for everyone. I was a close family friend, so this was very depressing for me. We had gotten especially close in the marching band.
This year’s show was dedicated to them and their family. It was a tough season, but we had tons of support from the other schools in our area. I remember lots of kind words, supportive signs/banners at the shows, and one school even had everyone sign a drumstick and gave it to us. All of us in the band ultimately pulled together to support one another as well. The photo you see here was when we had our tropical spirit day in honor of our lost friend.
At the end of the season, we had a big competition at Liberty University. It was our last one of the year, so we were all very nervous. With the support of the community and one another, we were able to win the competition! That’s what band is all about; coming together to achieve a goal, even when the going gets rough.
Throughout my early childhood my grandpa would tell me stories of how he played drums in the military. Not many members of my family were musicians so to hear him share these memories was absolutely fascinating. When I reached 6th grade, my heart was set on percussion but I was awkward, uncoordinated, and I had no sense of rhythm. I stuck with it for a few more years and coasted along not really digging into the instrument.
And then high school hit. My high school is an environment in which band flourishes. It is celebrated, the drumline is incredibly dedicated, and ohh man it is fun. I fell in love with playing in the front ensemble and I finally found my niche. Through high school band I was also introduced to DCI and WGI. My mind was blown. From that point on I was dedicated to play marimba with a corps and I went to work. Our high school tech staff was full of DCI age-outs and current marchers so I had an opportunity to learn from some of the best. Two years later, I am a current high school junior, center marimba in my HS front ensemble, and I will be marching my rookie season with The Cadets this upcoming summer.
Being a part of a drumline opened up so many opportunities for growth, with regard to character, leadership, and musicianship. The players around me challenge me each and every day to continually push my limits. This year, we wanted to extend the impact of our drumline not only to the players, but also to society. We have partnered with Charity: Water which provides clean water for communities around the world. Check out https://donate.charitywater.org/lynda-warner/dragons-for-water to learn more about the project and to donate and help the Carroll Indoor Drumline meet our goal!
When I was younger, I would visit my uncles house all the time. I went because my another one of my uncles would always be playing the drums. I never actually got to see him play it, I never even saw the drum set. I only got to hear him play. Sometimes I would hear him playing to songs that I knew. Whenever I heard him playing the drums, I would be so fascinated by the way he could make music. Afterwords, I would always go home and watch videos of drummers and drumlines.
One day, I went to my uncles house but I didn’t hear the drum set playing. So I went to where my uncle would play the drums. What I found was a sad sight. Apparently the whole drum set had been torn apart and thrown out. All that was left were some drumsticks, most of them broken and a snare drum. I picked up the snare and found a pair of sticks that were still good.
That was when I started playing the snare and became even more fascinated. From that day on, I decided that I would play in a drum line someday. I am proud to say that I have achieved that dream, and I’m loving every minute of it. This was my inspiration to play.
Around 7th grade I started listening to blink-182. my favorite song was first date, I loved the drum intro it sounded so cool. I looked up the drummer, his name was Travis Barker. He is the reason I became a drummer. I bought my first pair of drumsticks later on and wanted to learn how to play the drum fill at the beginning of the song. It took me quite a while to get it down since I didn’t have a drum set at the time, but with practice I eventually got it down.
When I got to high school I really wanted to play drums in the marching band. I didn’t really need to audition to join because it was a small group at the time. I started out playing bass drum 3 and over time I moved up to snare sophomore year. By my junior year I wanted to move up again, this time to tenor drums.
Tenor drums was the most challenging, physically, emotionally, and mentally. There was this girl who was a year older than me, she was suppose to teach how to play them. For some reason she didn’t really like me, in fact she hated me. I don’t know why she hated me but it was a real struggle learning from and playing with her for a school year. There were even times when I wanted to quit because of her. But I didn’t care. I knew that eventually these drums were going to be mine. So she graduated and I became a senior and the Tenors were mine, I felt so happy. Band Alumni have told me I have become a good drummer over the years and feel so great about it. Never let anyone bring you down. Like Travis Barker just Drums Drums Drums.
In 8th grade, my band director showed the band a video of the Blue Devils and a video of the Blue Devils Drumline. It was that day that I knew I wanted to be good at the snare drum. Then in the 10th grade, I decided to try the drumline. When we started the auditions(in the previous Spring), while playing the exercises, I realized I I wasn’t that good. I made Bass 5, but I didn’t enjoy it. I knew I wanted to be a snare drummer. So I began practicing for 5-6 hours a day.
Drumline auditions came around again for the new school year(11th grade). Those auditions didn’t go so well either. I made bottom bass again. After that I said I will not stop until I get to play snare drum. I practiced even more, sometimes until midnight or 1 in the morning.
The end of the year came around and it was time for the band’s annual banquet. At the end of the banquet, my band director announces the new section leaders and he assigned me Assistant Percussion Captain. The following week we have auditions for the new year (senior year). The auditions went pretty well this time!
Ben, the percussion instructor, announced the line and he left snares last on the list. I made it! But now I’m Percussion Captain and Center Snare! I was super excited. After that, I started thinking about my future in drumline and I decided to audition for the Louisiana Stars Drumline. I am getting ready to go to the last audition camp now, wish me luck!