By Bailey VenJohn
When a NCAA Division I football game comes to mind so does a pep band and drumline playing the school’s fight song to get the crowd going. The band gets the teams pumped and gives the fans a source of energy to feed off of.
Southwestern College will soon get the pleasure of experiencing this.
“We’re trying to be prepared by the last home football game and start playing from then on, possibly basketball games too,” said Quenton Todd, music education senior, and a member of the drumline.
Jeremy Kirk, Director of Band and Percussion, said he considered many things when deciding to start the drum line.
“It will create an opportunity for music education majors that will allow them to become more experienced and successful educators. The drumline will also help provide spirit at certain athletic events and other campus functions. It will also be a unique offering at Southwestern, given that most private liberal arts colleges do not offer such a group,” said Kirk.
Kirk brought the idea to the attention of the Performing Arts Division Chair last year. It was followed by meetings with the Academic Dean and President and was decided to move forward with it for this year.
Percussion and drumline is nothing new to Kirk. He was involved in music all through public school and as an undergraduate he majored in Music Education and received a Masters in Percussion Performance.
He began marching percussion in sixth grade and has been involved ever since.
“I have been blessed to share the stage with many great artists and have been fortunate to study with some of the leading percussionists in the world,” said Kirk.
During college Kirk was a member of the Glenville State Drumline where he also served as drumline captain for 2 years. As well as playing, Kirk has directed Marshall University Marching Thunder Drumline and serve as Director of the Presidents Drum and Bugle Corps.
While Todd’s percussion career is not quite as extensive, he has been involved in drumline for three years.
“I did the drumline at Coffeyville Community College and Kirk came from Coffeyville so I’m just kind of a veteran, I started in college,” said Todd.
The SC drumline consists of three snare drums, a tenor drum set, and four bass drums. Todd plays a snare drum in the group.
Another percussion group that is offered at Southwestern is the African Drum Ensemble.
“African drum is one of those groups that you don’t need any experience at all coming into but for drumline you might want a little experience because it is a little more rigorous,” said Todd. He referred to it as sort of a prerequisite for drumline.
While experience may be suggested by Todd before joining drumline it isn’t required.
Kirk has a small request before considering joining the group.
“My main requirement is to bring a positive attitude and strong work ethic. We are not to the point of auditioning yet, but will be in the future.”
For anyone who may be interested in joining the drumline, new members are still welcome. Kirk asks that you call or email him at Jeremy.Kirk@sckans.edu.
“We certainly plan on growing in both quality in quantity,” said Kirk.
Bailey VenJohn is a junior majoring in communication. You may email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.