Snare drums, marimbas, and cymbals, among a variety of other percussion instruments, all help to tell the tale of American gothic writer Edgar Allan Poe in Milton Indoor Drumline’s newest show, “Nevermore.” The show links together some of Poe’s most renowned poems, such as “The Raven” and “Annabelle Lee.”
The indoor drumline combines percussion and visuals to create an artistic performance. “It sounds basic,” says marimba player Jonah Schertz, “but it’s not. It’s difficult.” The drumline rehearses on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 7 pm, and Fridays from 4 to 9 pm. Drumline members are expected to practice on their own as well.
Weekend competitions are frequent, as are all-day camps. “It’s a large time commitment,” percussionist Bryce Laderoute points out. The drumline’s members have to know how to balance school and other extracurriculars with their rehearsals and competitions. “I have what feels like very little time to relax,” comments Laderoute.
Besides percussion, a drumline performance also incorporates visuals such as dance, adding “somewhat of an athletic component.” Even percussionists in the pit, the section in front of the drumline’s floor, aren’t let off easy. “The obvious aspect of the show is music, but we also have to display emotions based on what’s happening in the show,” says Laderoute.
As for the current season, the Milton Indoor Drumline is optimistic. Schertz believes this might be their “best year so far,” and Laderoute adds that the drumline has “a well-designed show and a competent group of performers to carry it out, as well as dedicated and hardworking instructors.” Regardless, the drumline will be keeping close watch on Lambert High School, who Schertz says they “always try to beat.” Even so, Milton Drumline certainly has their eyes on the prize this year.