Drumshow ‘Evolution’ displays variety of percussion skills
April 17, 2017
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As the lights dimmed, a hush fell over the audience. Instruments filled the stage and performers prepared to play their first piece. After five months of practice, they were ready to impress the audience.
On April 7 and 8, the 21st annual Drumshow featured 14 musicians and special guests from the Advanced Steelband, the JSO combo rhythm section, horns, a couple male singers and singers from the Chorelles. The cast performed three times throughout the weekend and had a sold out show on April 7. The performance lasted one and a half hours and was built around the theme of “Evolution.”
Brandon Estes, assistant band director and director of the Marching Redhawks, explained the Evolution theme and how it related to the show.
“The idea behind it was that we were going through the evolution of percussion instruments from a more historical, prehistoric percussion,” Estes said. “We just develop through the course of the show into more modern uses of percussion and the modern xylophone and its brothers and sisters. [Drumshow] is very collaborative.”
The performance showcased a variety of songs and genres. Ranging from familiar pop songs to playing pieces with household items like flower pots and PVC pipes, the show also featured many different kinds of instruments. Songs contrasted from being loud, soft, slow, quick, and the number of performers changed each time.
“It’s a way for a patron to enjoy a percussion ensemble in a more contemporary setting,” Estes said. “They can enjoy and see the technicality, musicianship and sensitivity. There’s much more to percussion than just banging on a drum.”
The students played college-level music and practiced stage performance techniques to encourage audience participation.
Sophomores Caleb Frank and Prateek Dullur both enjoyed playing Drumshow and shared their favorite part of it.
“It’s […] more exciting,” Frank said. “[It’s] more like a show than a [band] performance.”
“[It’s] a lot more professional with the amount of time that we practice,” Dullur said. “The general attitude is much more serious about what we’re playing. It’s more fun.”
For freshman Tori Charmoli this was her first time playing in the show. She talked about what makes Drumshow so special.
“We add stage presence to our performance,” Charmoli said. “We really want to make it enjoyable for anyone who comes to the show. The most exciting thing about performing is when the crowd really gets into what you’re doing. When the audience get’s excited, I get more confident, and overall [it] makes the performance more fun.”