Drumline returns from successful Dripping Springs competition


Senior Cameron Brighton plays the xylophone during a pregame performance. Photo by Nina Castaneda

Miguel Blanco, Staff Reporter

The great levels of determination and energy that have become synonymous with the band were on full display this month, as the drumline participated in their first competition of the season. The percussionists returned home with the lessons learned from the meet, and there is no doubt that they will continue to perform as an integral part of the commended band heading into this year.

The drumline participated in the Dripping Spring Drumline Competition on Sept. 20, in which they placed Second place overall behind Cedar Park. Tenor section placed first in the competition. The entire band will participate in their first competition as a whole this Saturday.

The members of the drumline returned from competition with positive outlooks on their performances, as many of the percussionists felt they played up to expectation. Conveying energy and playing well were always at the forefront of the drumline’s thoughts during competition.

“One thing we did well during competition was our ability to play clean. The week before the contest we kept having good practice runs, and each go was better than the last, so come competition day we just had a great run,” center tenor section leader Justin Jalomo said. “Another thing we did best during competition was with the energy that we gave and the way we looked behind our instruments, conveying energy is one thing that we focus on that other groups don’t.”

The preparation that comes ahead of competition can also seem unusual for those who are not accustomed to the drumline’s routine for practice, and it may take a while for new members to become acclimated to the way the percussionists practice.

“Because I have done drumline so many years, it hasn’t been as difficult for me to get into a mindset about performing in front of other people,” front ensemble section leader Kyle Legg said. “But we’re trying to get everyone on board, especially the newer folks. It is difficult to do reps and imagine that you’re performing in front of other people when there is no crowd, but it’s important to encourage all the new people to be comfortable with conveying emotion every time. That way by the time we go to competition it’s just really easy for them to be able to do the same thing.”

A spirit of companionship also seems to be a large part of drumline for practice and competition, so naturally it also plays an important role in the drumline’s efforts for placing high.

“There’s definitely a team mentality in drumline, the band directors describe it as a family, we all have to work together and commit the same amount of energy in order to produce the greatest product,” Legg said. “We need to be able to trust the person next to us wholly. It’s pretty much like any other team.”

The great work ethic of the drumline became clear through their performance of the last portion of music during the competition, which was executed with great control despite the limited time the drumline was given for practice.

“This year’s group has a pretty remarkable work ethic,” director Joe Hobbs said. “We actually only received the back third of our program a few weeks before the contest.  The students added rehearsals on their own, spent time before school, and were able to not only prepare this music, but also perform it at an extremely high level.  Because of this, I couldn’t of been happier with the performance the students gave on Saturday.”

Now that the drumline competition has ended, fans of the band and drumline can be excited for the start of regular season. And if the results of the Dripping Springs Competition are any indication, the drumline will continue to play an integral role in the band.

“The drum line is a huge part of the band program.  A lot of the timing and musical alignment hinges on the percussion section and their ability to maintain tempo,” Hobbs said. “The entire music ensemble depends on the percussion section throughout the show. This year percussion has several exposed features. Because of this, the percussion carry a large amount of our music score at competitions. We actually also start this year’s program.”