Talawanda Indoor Drumline
The beating of your ear drums going along with the bass drum and the tap, tap, tap of the snare drums following the pace of your heart from all the excitement. Talawanda’s indoor winter band makes your adrenaline rush with the clash of the cymbals, all leading up to the final cheer of crowds in the gymnasium stands.
All instruments in this band are percussion, including snare drums, tenor drums and bass drums, along with marimbas, cymbals, xylophones, chimes and sometimes electronic instruments (electric guitars and synthesizers).
Directed by Doug Hurst, it’s one of the many bands that not many people have heard of at Talawanda.
Although the drumline has done better each year, the improvement at Talawanda hasn’t only come from the experienced members in the years before. Some students joined in the middle of their high school careers.
“My sophomore year was pretty bad and I joined with no experience,” said junior member Kaylin Wright. “I can now read and count music better. I learned new things and have improved a lot. Band gives me a reason to do good.”
Although the drumline has done well in their competitions, even going so far as moving up a class and being around for five years, not many students at Talawanda are familiar with this group.
“Only the people in some sort of school band know about it. It’s not very advertised.” said Nick Vennefron, a sophomore who’s been in the Drumline for two years.
The fact that not many people know about it is a very interesting matter since it’s a organization that can be found all around the nation. First created in Minnesota in 1976, this activity has spread like fire through the United states, and as of a few years ago, through multiple places around the world.
The idea for an Indoor drumline started during the winter when it was unreasonable to go outside and march. It consists of only percussion instruments.
The competitions first appeared through Winter Guard International (WGI). Multiple schools and groups nationwide travel to competitions and performs in front of judges and are judged on criteria that changes every season based on the class they’re in. Talawanda, however, didn’t pick up the idea for such a band until five years ago in 2008. This is their sixth season.
The music is selected based on movies or popular genres. In the previous year, the genre was Tron, a popular movie at the time. Other themes were ‘Colorblind,’ ‘Eclipse’ and ‘The Step Above.’ The previous director’s last show where students became the best and were a step above the rest.
“Our theme this year is ‘The Yard,’’’ said Hurst. “We are dressed as people in a schoolyard, like in South Philly or New York.”
The indoor drumline is a much more personal experience to the people actually in the band. “I like indoor because I get more parts,” said senior Jordan Benge, who plays the snare drum in the band. “There’s more they can do one-on-one to make the ensemble sound better. I think it’s a fun sport.”
Hurst understands the drumline is still young, but he has high hopes for the group. “My goal is for the band by the end of this year to do the best we can and put on a show people will like.”
Victoria Heinrich, Junior indoor member agreed. “The band is improving and I think by the end of the year, they’ll be pretty kick-ass,” She said
To see the Talawanda indoor drumline perform, check them out for yourselves. It might just be a show you’ll want to see.
Shows take place February 23 at East Central High school in St. Leon, Indiana, March 23 at Milford High School in Milford, Ohio, and Championships take place April 6 at Ryle High School in Union, Kentucky.