To the beat of a drum

Lee Pixton, member of the Leesville drumline, practices outside the band room after school. Many days, the drumline spends hours rehearsing various cadences and the band’s field show.

Lee Pixton, member of the Leesville drumline, practices outside the band room after school. Many days, the drumline spends hours rehearsing various cadences and the band’s field show.

Each week, a variety of factors contribute to the unique experience that is a Leesville football game. One of these factors is the Leesville drumline.

“[The drumline] create kind of an environment where it’s loud and gets people into the game,” said Carey Davis, senior and member of the student section.

After finishing their halftime show, the band marches back to the stands– while the drumline marches to the front of the student section. The crowd roars with excitement as the drumline plays their repertoire.

“The student section has so much energy and just when we’re playing in front of them we feel their energy and we can play. It just makes us want to play more energetic. They help us to be more energetic, and we help them be more energetic, and it just makes the game a lot more fun,” said Lee Pixton, drumline member and sophomore.

Along with exciting the student section, the drumline also takes part in the continuation of a marching pride tradition: the ghetto dance. For as long as anyone can remember, the Leesville low brass section has performed the ghetto dance at football games. The ritual has been passed down through the years from player to player, and is held in adoring reverence by the whole band.

“My favorite cadence is probably the ghetto. The ghetto is the bass drum  cadence, mainly bass drums which is my instrument. so it’s a lot of fun to play. And it’s a lot of fun also because the whole band gets into the dancing, especially the low brass dancing and singing a bit. Ghetto is definitely my favorite. It’s fun to play, and has a really cool beat,” said Pixton.

The drumline itself is a tight knit group, both a part of the larger band family and its own separate unit. Members of the drumline spend hours each day practicing together after school, in addition to sectionals and full band rehearsals.

This closeness produces a unit that, at its best, is entirely in sync with itself– in terms of both marching and playing.

“Everything about drumline is fantastic, but probably the best part about drumline is having fun with everyone else that’s in drumline, just messing around with the drums and playing in front of the student section at football games is a lot of fun. To have the ability to play the instrument and be good at it. Good enough that people want to hear you playing is probably the best part,” said Pixton.

So beyond their strict dedication, hours of practice, and professionalism as performers– students participate in drumline because they enjoy it. They enjoy the thrill that comes from performing for hundreds of spectators. They enjoy the opportunity to spend time with all of their friends. And overall, they enjoy contributing to the unique experience that is a Leesville football game.

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