Eastern Regional High School’s drum line won first place at a recent nine-state chapter championship competition held over four days in Wildwood.
This is only the second year the school competed in the “A” class, having moved up from a novice level, making their triumph even more notable.
Each year, beginning soon after the fall football season ends, members of Eastern’s marching band create a large percussion unit that competes with other drum lines from schools in the mid-Atlantic region.
The shows feature a mobile battery consisting of various drums and cymbals played by musicians moving across the floor in a choreographed drill and a stationary pit ensemble featuring marimbas, xylophones and other large instruments.
The music from the battery and pit is enhanced by electronic equipment, including bass guitar and synthesizers. All combine to form a comprehensive themed show completed by props and custom-designed uniforms.
The shows are then judged throughout the winter season based on music aptitude, artistic expression and overall effect.
According to Brad Trinkner, director of Eastern’s 2016 Drum Line, this year saw the largest number of students partaking in the program.
In total there were 37 students performing in a show titled “Worth the Wait,” a musical dialogue among the drums, mallet instruments and cymbals that kept audiences in a state of anticipation because “good things come to those who wait,” as promised by a digitized voice during the performance.
Despite being such a large group, according to Trinkner, the students were “the most prepared [he] ever taught.”
In addition, considering that this was only the second year that the school had been moved up to the more demanding “A” class, Trinkner said it “speaks for what our students can do” that they came in first place.
While Trinkner and his staff are already at work planning next year’s show, the students are gearing up to head back out on the football field as the Eastern High School Marching Vikings.
Soon the students will be performing during Friday night games and competing against other marching bands on Saturdays.