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Drumlines are reinventing themselves as important pieces in the sports world |





Whether it’s booms, thumps, thwacks or pops, drum lines have become a key part of sports entertainment.

Since the first performance on the grounds of the Notre-Dame brass bands in 1887, music and sport have long been linked. More than 134 years later, drumlines in particular have emerged as one of the most popular ways for the arts to infiltrate the sports world.

The highly charged sounds of a drum set can be found throughout Arizona, from the high-energy vibe delivered by BOOM! Percussion Entertainment at the Suns and Coyotes games, the Cardinals Drumline that are part of the NFL teams playing experience, the collegiate contributions derived from the Arizona, Arizona State and North American marching bands. ‘Arizona.

were basically just cheerleaders with drums, said Michael Richau, owner and founder of BOOM!

It’s so much more. It’s the synchronous experience offered by multiple drummers, or as the band in Drumline, Nick Cannons’ 2002 coming-of-age film, screams, One band, one sound!

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A rich history

The performance of musical groups in the field is constantly evolving. Originally, marching bands were created with militaristic practices and intentions, and performances were made to reflect recruits following the orders of a drill sergeant. The formations were straight lines, the music was composed strictly for rhythmic repetition, and while sports fans liked what they saw, nothing entertainment-wise was unique to the team, venue and to the community that the organization represented.

Although military-style bands still exist today, several factors have helped change the way these bands are entertained, including performances by historically black college and university bands, a popular movie, and a unique type of performance art.

Stomp was established in 1991 in the UK and quickly rose to fame for its drum-based style of entertainment.

The band enjoyed the performance as a whole over the music she played. Although his style of using everything as an instrument was not initially popular, the amount of effort put into the choreography and the blitzkrieg of wow factors helped boost popularity.

Next came Charles Stone III’s 2002 film Drumline starring Cannon. The film shines a light on the fun and rowdy ways of HBCU bands and helped put drum lines back in the spotlight.

The impact of HBCUs can be traced back as far as the 1940s, and the theatrical style and dance routines presented by Florida A&M University.

Our first dance routine, I don’t know how or why it came about, Dr William Foster, director emeritus of the FAMU group, told the Birmingham Times. It was to the tune of Alexanders Ragtime Band. We were just doing steps and knee lifts, and people thought that was the best thing in the world.

By the 1960s, HBCU marching bands were attracting attention in places like Grambling, Southern, and Tennessee State, with many eyes turning to their drum lines.

Go pro

Richau, owner and founder of BOOM! Percussion Entertainment, loves his job. He is responsible for assembling a small group of percussionists to perform for professional sports teams in Arizona, including the Suns and Coyotes.

After spending 13 years as a music teacher at local schools, Richau started a trash drumming band, much like Stomp, to perform at corporate events at convention centers, country clubs, and Moreover. Over time, Richau’s efforts and success allowed him to transition to BOOM! full-time, and the business began to attract interest from sports teams.

We got involved in the sports side of things later than other bands you might find,” Richau said. We kind of worked backwards in the sense that we tackled mainstream business first and then got into the world of sports later.

While drumlines can be spotted all over Arizona, their participation in sporting events is truly a national phenomenon.

The Pittsburgh Steeline is an example of one that started in the world of sports and later added conventions, weddings and parties to its repertoire. Vince Wallace started the band in 2012, and thanks to persistent emails and calls from representatives of the Pittsburgh Steelers entertainment team, they were able to go from playing in the parking lot before and after games to performing at the halftime during an NFL preseason game at Heinz Field. .

To prepare for this, we borrowed drums from already established local music organizations, recruited drummers, held auditions, printed T-shirts and prepared music to play for this opening performance, Wallace said. It was well received and the fans seemed to really appreciate what we were doing. After that first game, we decided to continue playing the music we had learned outside of Heinz Field to entertain hooker Steelers fans for other home games.

Steelers fans have enjoyed the performances of the young bands, which has allowed the Steelers to make the Steeline a part of every home game and training camp since 2013. This includes performances before and after the game, improving the fan experience inside and outside the stadium.

Wallace’s journey has come full circle since his time at a graduate school in Missouri. This is where he had the idea to launch the Steeline. He met members of the Kansas City Chiefs battery lines and, at the time, the St. Louis Rams.

Keith Rousu, the drum line manager for the Seattle Seahawks Blue Thunder and Seattle Sounders FC’s Sound Wave group, had a different experience.

I was lucky to hear about the desire to start a drum line to support the Seattle Seahawks, he said. I originally just wanted to play in the band when I was offered the opportunity to interview for the director position, which I was offered and accepted. Five years after starting the drums for the Seahawks, the opportunity to start a band for Sounders FC presented itself to me, and I jumped at the chance.

Philadelphia Eagles Drumlines Andy Moffat had an even different journey to his 13+ year position.

I’ve been a lifelong Eagles fan, live in Philadelphia, and come from a family of batsmen, Moffat said. I was on the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Drumline in college, which helped propel me into The Crossmen Drum & Bugle Corps. Thirteen years ago, I found out the Eagles were throwing a Drumline, so I auditioned and was lucky enough to land a spot in the snare drum with the team. A few years later, I took over the direction of the drumline mission.

The Crossmen are part of Drum Corps International (DCI), which is considered the professional league for marching units. Moffat has used his experience at the highest level of musical ensemble competition to help lead the Eagles Drumline today. He is responsible for booking concerts, auditions, writing the music and coordinating logistics on match days.

For Rousu, because the NFL and MLS play very differently, with the NFL having more breaks in the action, he and his bands, despite playing in the same stadium, have learned to adapt to each game. Consequently.

Brandon Estes, lead snare drummer and manager of the Chicago Bears Drumline for more than a decade and former member of the Chicago Bulls Stampede Drumline, says choreography is an important part of improving the Bears and Bulls fan experience. .

A lot of our music involves choreography and dance, Estes said. The choreography is integrated to keep each track electric.

We believe that the more visual we are, the more popular we will be, added Richau.




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