Stories of family and legacy: NCHS Drumshow Rock


Claire Yung

Right to left: senior Stephen Hoffman, junior Rohin Gopalka and senior Jeremy Chou play “Another One Bites the Dust/Stayin’ Alive” with boomwhackers, hollow tubes typically used in elementary classrooms made to produce specific pitches, at “NCHS Drumshow Rock 2022” April 9 in the auditorium.

Evelyn Krupicka, Entertainment Editor

Naperville Central’s Drumshow closed out its third and last performance of “NCHS Drumshow Rock 2022” on April 9. The focus was on ‘70s nostalgia, specifically “Schoolhouse Rock!”

For the cast members, being in Drumshow is not just an extracurricular activity. It’s like being a part of a family. This realization hit junior Shaun Everson after the final performance. He has been a part of Drumshow throughout high school and has been playing percussion instruments for eight years. 

“You get to the last performance of your show,” Everson said. “Right after that, I kind of realized I got these people in this cast I feel more comfortable around than most people I know.”

Senior Sara Ducharme said that the excitement throughout the season, both in and out of the performance, is particularly notable.  

“It’s really high energy,” Ducharme said. 

Ducharme has been drumming for six years and this was her second year in Drumshow. 

During the weeks leading up to Drumshow, cast members rehearse one and a half hours every morning every weekday. Tech week is even more involved, with several six or seven hour rehearsals. In short, the cast spends much of its time during the season together. 

Even during tech week, the cast was still able to let loose. Everson said an important part of performing onstage is having fun and making it clear to the audience that they’re having fun. 

“There’s a difference between when you’re playing an instrument and having fun while you’re doing it and looking like you’re having fun doing it,” Everson said. “It’s so much better.” 

The community of Drumshow as a whole emphasizes this fun. 

“I think part of the whole brand of Drumshow is that it’s not intended to be a super strict and serious, elite program like marching band or jazz band is, but it’s meant to be fun,” Everson said. 

Junior Rohin Gopalka has been part of Drumshow for three years and drumming for 11. In spite of his experience in Drumshow, the performances have not run the same due to the pandemic. 

“We haven’t really had a performance and so it’s really cool to be able to actually know what it feels like to have all the adrenaline onstage at once,” Gopalka said. 

Both audience and cast members said Drumshow is a memorable experience. 

“Even if someone isn’t into music, they’ve come to it and they’ve had an amazing time,” Ducharme said. “Performing, we’re personally having fun, but out in the audience, there’s so many people who love it and sometimes get inspired.” 

Everson said he first went to Drumshow in fourth grade and continued to go after that. 

“I was so intimidated because I was kind of standing on top of the shoulders of all those performing and it was like, how do I live up to their legacy?” Everson said. 

Everson was literally on the shoulders of junior Mark Park, a fellow cast member, during the show. 

Before the show started, the seniors passed on various mantels to the junior cast members.

“Stephen Hoffman, one of the seniors, he hands down the awesome torch to me because I do a lot during drumshow and get everyone hyped,” Everson said. 

Many former cast members return each year to see the new casts of Drumshow perform. Ducharme said she’ll be back and her experience in Drumshow is something she will always carry with her. 

“I think it’s one of those things people say: your senior year, there’s some things that you remember,” Ducharme said. “This is definitely one of those things. It’s just so high energy and the performance end result was so worth it, even if there was hiccups along the way.”

The auditorium was almost full for all three performances and the cast members encourage people to keep coming back.

“If you haven’t seen it before, it’s an indescribable experience,” Ducharme said.