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Drum line finds beat after class

Music: Students practice and work hard to attain rhythm as group to go to championships

Posted: June 1, 2010 1:48 a.m.
Updated: June 1, 2010 4:55 a.m.

The Rio Norte Junior High School drum line shows off their trophy during a recent fundraiser.

I am a student at Rio Norte Junior High School, and that's a very lucky thing for a drummer like me because Rio Norte is one of the very few junior high schools that has a drum line program.

In fact, my school is the only junior high in the William S. Hart Union High School District with a drum line.

There are 22 of us on the team, and we play all kinds of instruments ranging from keyboard to mallets, piano, guitar, bass and snare drums.

It takes a whole lot of practice and hard work to make it happen, but when it does, there is nothing like the feeling I get when we are all playing and moving in sync.

We perform an original four-minute music piece and drum line drill by Mr. Troy King, our drum line coach, called "Who Stole My Space Shuttle?"

It's an exciting program, and we have already received first-place awards with it in two previous competitions.

Because the drum line is not part of the regular school curriculum, we train and practice our skills after school. Mr. King and Mr. Jeff Gilbert, the band director and adviser, along with Dalia Berman and Jonathan Morse, give a lot of their own time to our team helping us strive for perfection.

The junior division championships of the American Drum Line Association were held on April 24 in San Marcos, and I am so excited. We came in ninth in that competition, competing against 11 other junior high schools that came from all over Southern California.

We ranked in fifth place for California junior high drum lines based on our overall season performance.

It has been an awesome experience thanks largely to our instructors, and I plan to continue with drum line next year in high school.

Kaitlin Perkins is an eighth-grader at Rio Norte Junior High School.


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