Drumming to Japan

A look inside of the CPS drumline.

TaNayia Broadus

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For most marching band kids in Columbia, the marching season comes to a close around early November. But not for some members of the drumlines in Columbia Public Schools. In late July, a year-long opportunity for drumline members was introduced. The CPS drumline a group of drumline students chosen through an audition process to go to competitions and perform. The perk? They get to go to Japan!

But it’s not just an easy trip to Japan. For multiple weekdays, along with weekends for the past six months, select students from the three high schools meet at Battle for rehearsals led by Bob Thalhuber, the director at Battle, and Dr. Miller, director at Battle High and teacher at Columbia College.

With so many rehearsals a week, sophomore Dani Smith says that by participating in CPS drumline, it will only make the Hickman marching season better for her.

“If anything, it has brought me closer to music. I knew coming into the CPS drumline that I would have many rehearsals and eventually it would get tiring but it’s the same thing with marching band and almost every other activity you can join.” Smith says. “I know I would be bored all the time if I did not do so many extra curriculars so I love keeping myself busy with activities, and I certainly do, so this was just another thing to add to the list. Plus, music is a big part of my life so why not join a musical group that gets to go to Japan!”

But with the Japan trip so far away, the CPS drumline is also scheduled to perform in March and April for competitions.

“We need all the rehearsal time we can get in preparation for the competitions and the Japan trip,” junior Tremonte Miller said.

Since the CPS drumline is constructed of students from all three high schools, it was a small adjustment to adapt to the other groups of students.

“At first it was a little weird because every school has their own ways of doing things and things they think are appropriate when other groups think otherwise,” Smith said. “But now, after getting to know these people over the past 6 months, it’s a lot of fun and we have learned how to all get along and work together better.”

Senior Brandon Johnson, a participant, reflected on collaborating with the other schools.

“It’s a really pleasant experience as we all bring our own personalities, historys, inside jokes, ect and it’s a great time. Especially because we all have the same goal of performing at a high level,” Johnson said.

With such difficult and frequent rehearsals, members of the CPS drumline can agree that it has improved their skills as musicians.

“My marching and playing skill have significantly improved through CPS Drumline,” Johnson said. “The challenging music, warm-ups, and drill has pushed me to become better, as well as the rest of the line. It made me all around a better musician and team member.”

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Drumming to Japan