Drumline perseveres to finish marching season


Torie Peck

Coppell High School junior quad drummer section leader Ashrith Anumala, junior quad drummer Pranav Govil and sophomore quad drummer Aman Singhal perform their feature from the Coppell Varsity Drumline Show Attrå on Tuesday night at Buddy Echols Field. Today, the Drumline will finish their season.

Torie Peck, Staff Writer

The steady sharp, tune of a metronome. The thunderous beat of drums. The melody of the front ensemble. All are clear signs of Coppell Band’s drumline practicing in the back parking lot of CHS. 

From the first weeks of summer to the last weeks of fall, they work tirelessly to put together both Marching and Drumline Shows. 

Starting with long, hot summer band camp and ending with cooler fall practices, they see all elements. But this year was a little different. An abrupt end to the 2019-2020 school year compromised the drumilne’s final months of concert season which caused the Class of 2020 an unexpected, abrupt departure from drumline. 

School closures also caused a slow start to the upcoming marching season. Without the ability of in-person rehearsals, the drumline reported to virtual lessons and rehearsals where they learned the majority of their upcoming shows for the 2020 marching season. Marching season was also elongated through December

“As a group we did well with all the COVID stuff happening,” CHS sophomore varsity quad drummer Aman Singhal said. “We had online [practice], Zoom calls and we’d still get together as much as possible while still being safe.”

On Tuesday night, JV and varsity drumline hosted their Drumline Showcase at Buddy Echols Field. The event was held for family, friends and fellow performers to watch the shows they have been working on the past few months. 

“[It’s] sad but also happy [that the season is ending],” CHS percussion instructor Randall Nguyen said. “It’s the last time we get to see them play this [show] but at the same time it was really great to see them perform in front of so many people.”

JV performed its marching show, Three Wishes. This was soon followed by varsity, with each section performing a piece of their show before an ensemble performance of its drumline show, Attrå. It was their biggest turnout of the season, after all but one competition was canceled. 

Last year, the Coppell JV and varsity drumlines competed in five competitions. This year, varsity attended one, virtual competition: the Lonestar Drumline Contest. The Coppell varsity drumline continued similar success as last year.

Their final competition of 2019 was the Lonestar Drumline Contest, where both varsity and JV drumline competed. Varsity received first place overall, the Caldwell Cup [the highest score of the night at 96.88], Most Creative Show and the Captions: Best Front Ensemble, and Best Snares. JV received second place in their division and the caption of best Bass Line. 

Varsity saw similar results this year after receiving second place overall and the captions: Best Font Ensemble, Best Tenors and Best Bass.

“We tried to keep things as normal as possible, especially for the students,” Nguyen said. “The lengths and qualities of the show were written to be just as promising to the students to keep up their technique. Overall, the quality of playing has not declined either. What really helped with that were the summer sectionals we had and that kept the students morale up.”

Wednesday is the drumlines final day of the season after completing an end of year video shoot. After a group warm-up the drumline will complete multiple run throughs of their show. Throughout this a videographer will capture multiple angles and perspectives of the student performers in a four hour time period.

While this season has been extremely different than other years due to COVID-19, the drumline has managed to continue to establish excellence and a close-knit community.

“The whole culture of drumline has changed since I first came here,” CHS senior snare drummer battery captain Yiwei Shen said. “[Drumline] has become more of a community and we’ve all been working really hard together. We all get to set aside hours of our day to play really awesome music with each other and to really form a section family.”

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