Drumshow: ‘Not just a percussion ensemble concert’


Claire Yung

Left to right: junior Alex Remiasz, junior Brenden Speckman and senior Jeremy Chou playing on various instruments during a small ensemble piece at “NCHS Drumshow Rock 2022” April 9 in the auditorium.

Claire Yung, Profiles Editor & Social Media Editor

Naperville Central held its twenty-fifth drumshow on April 8 and 9, “NCHS Drumshow Rock 2022”,  is a play on the television series “SchoolHouse Rock!” The fourteen songs that were performed were specific to the 1970s genre and the opening piece was a large ensemble performance of Conjunction Junction. The auditorium was decorated to match the theme, with lava lamps, disco balls and records. Drumshow cast members also dressed up as characters, such as a pink panther or Tom and Jerry, to match the theme. 

The cast hosted a parent preview of the show on April 7, and during the school day on April 8, district 203 5th graders came into Central’s auditorium and watched the show.

Brandon Estes, associate director of bands and a co-director of drumshow said, “The parent preview on Thursday evening was a very good performance but I think that immediately turning around into a performance for the fifth graders was a great way for [the cast] to feed off of the energy of the crowd and they reacted in a very positive manner, with a lot of energy in their performance. Which is cyclical.”

One of the pieces that the audience got the most excited for was “Joyride,” during which the cast would use a car as a prop and drum on it. 

“The history behind it is that it was written by one of our former drumshow directors by the name of Ben Wahlun,” Estes said. “He first [performed it] on stage around 2008 and then we did it again for our 20th anniversary show. And with this year being a 70s theme, we thought it would be cool and fun to do it again so that we can paint it and give it the 1970s vibe.”

This year was the first full performance of drumshow since 2019 due to COVID-19. Part of the performance was hosting the “instrument petting zoo” on April 9 before the show. The petting zoo welcomed anyone to come into the band room and try out percussion instruments with drumshow cast members to help show them.

Senior Jeremy Chou has been a cast member since his freshman year and he said, “when I first heard [the 2020] drumshow was canceled I was pretty disappointed, I was pretty optimistic about it beforehand. In [2021], we kind of did a smaller drum show that only had four songs and was only available to the families. So being able to just have a full drum show and to just have a crowd benign able to come in and listen to us was while having the show felt really good.”

Estes shared the same sentiment of being able to bring drumshow back after two years.

“We’re excited to be back,” Estes said. “I describe drumshow as a variety show. It’s not just a percussion ensemble concert because with every piece that they play there’s some sort of theatrics or comedy or engagement to it that just makes it beyond what it was originally written for. It really is about engaging audiences of all ages and we look forward to bringing them back to our community because drumshow really is unique.”