Staying on beat

As the drumstick signaled the final, the Diamond Bar High School drumline earned first place at the Southern California Percussion Alliance (SCPA). Staying on a consistent tempo, the team exceeded expectations, as they only continued to strive for more. 

SCPA is the corporation that promotes percussion music for students and holds competitions for them to compete in. On Feb. 11, SCPA held its SoCal concert, which was opened to both high school students and independent groups to participate in. 

 “We started our winter season for drumline last year around late December,” junior Annie Chen said via Instagram. “Ever since then, we’ve been doing rehearsals every Monday and Wednesday to prepare for competitions that are on Saturdays.” 

Part of the group’s regimen included individual practice outside of school and held rehearsals during lunch or after school twice a week. The team not only practiced honing their pieces, but their movements, as visuals are a big part of the performance. 

“I try my best to practice almost everyday,” senior Rebecca Campell said via Instagram. “At school I have the luxury of practicing on my instrument [since] I don’t have access to it at home.”  

The drumline performed a piece called “The River ” written by their conductors and inspired by “The Moldau” by Bedrich Smetana, earning them first place. While their actual performance was only a few minutes long, the SCPA event was from 1 p.m. to 11p.m.

“Our coach writes pieces based on the energy of the students,” Campell said. “This year, our drumline gives off a mellow and untamed feeling, which is why they decided that the piece should sound like the river.”

Despite their success, the team encountered struggles during their first competition of the year. 

“Since it was our first competition, we had some miscommunication,” Chen said. “We recognize that communication is key for not only getting along with each other, but also for our group to be able to unite when playing together.” 

The overall experience was exciting for the members as it was a great way for them to put their skills to the test and bond with the other members of drumline. 

“I had a great time. Being with drumlines is comforting, and it’s always fun when I’m with them,” Chen said. “I’m looking forward to performing at the Toyota Arena on April 15.”