Valhalla's Drumline is an optional after school activity that is made up of percussion and non-percussion students who want to try out after the marching band season has ended. Drumline consists of a marching percussion (battery) section and a front ensemble (pit) section. Each year, depending on the skills and the number of performers, the Drumline will participate and compete as a Marching Drumline or as a Concert Percussion Ensemble. There are also opportunities for individuals to Solo at competitions.
The Marching Drumline consists of both the battery and pit sections. A notable difference with marching during the (indoor) drumline season is the more frequent use of toe-down marching. Marching Drumline is group dependent due to the lack of yard lines. With no yard lines to guide placement, the marcher is required to 'dress' to the others, meaning to use the other marchers as a reference point and keep with formation using peripheral vision. Some Marching Drumlines even incorporate basic dance moves into their shows for a more dramatic effect. Depending on the competition circuit that Valhalla chooses to compete in, there is also a standstill variation of the drumline that includes both the battery and pit sections, but the battery stands still and does not march.
The Concert Percussion Ensemble uses only pit instruments, and the marching line (battery) is absent from the show.
Music for Drumline shows is selected and developed from original works, movie themes, popular music, classical music, and more. Instrumentation is anything that would or could be used under the percussion category of any musical group, including: snare drums, tenor drums or quads, bass drums, cymbals, xylophones, marimbas, vibraphones, tambourines, chimes, timpani, drum kits, and other similar instruments. Electronic instruments such as guitars, bass guitars, theremins, and synthesizers are also allowed - however, no pre-recorded music may be played. Spoken word via microphone is used on occasion as well. Unconventional instruments such as trash cans, barrels, pipes, brooms, and other things that make percussive sounds are sometimes used.
Both marching and concert drumlines must be uniformed alike. Uniforms range from traditional marching band uniforms to shirts and jeans, depending on the show theme selected. Additionally, drumlines can use "sets" to help the audience engage the performance. Sets may include painted floor coverings, backdrops to portray a story as the group performs the music in and around the props. Large nylon-vinyl tarps that cover an entire gym floor are often used. Sets must also be designed to function within the space provided and to enter and leave the performance area quickly and easily. Door sizes and roof heights can be an issue. Electrical outlets for amplifiers can also be an issue. There are strict rules on the area sets can be placed on and the time a group is allowed to set them up. Violations of these rules result in score deductions.
Practices will be Mondays and Wednesdays from 6pm to 9pm in the band room. There also may be some Saturday or Sunday practices.
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