Drumlines follow example of King

Brandon Bills

Nothing beats a good drumline extravaganza.

Six Topeka drumlines came together at White Concert Hall on Thursday night for “Drumming for the Drum Major,” a concert to celebrate the life and philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The drumlines from Seaman Middle School, Hayden, Shawnee Heights, Seaman High, Topeka West and Topeka High played to a packed house. Seaman Middle School was the first middle school drumline to be included in the concert.

In its fourth year, “Drumming for the Drum Major” was sponsored by Living the Dream, Inc. and Washburn Multicultural Affairs. It was part of Living the Dream Week, a series of events around Topeka in the week leading up to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

“Drumming for the Drum Major” refers to a sermon titled “The Drum Major Instinct,” delivered by King at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, regarding the instinct, as King described it, to be important and out in front, not for selfish reasons, but rather for justice, peace and righteousness.

Dona Walker, Washburn Multicultural Affairs director and Living the Dream representative, said the theme of the concert fit with their mission.

“It celebrates unity-that we can all come together,” said Monica Augusto, co-chair of the event and Living the Dream board member. “It’s about giving the youth something positive.”

“Though it’s officially a non-competitive event, each drumline competes to put on the best show,” said Sal Cruz, drumline instructor at Topeka High School. “It’s a blast. Everybody brings something different to offer.”

The students enjoyed the opportunity to play with other drumlines and watch their performances.

“The best part is working with other drumlines,” said Micah Reynolds, Shawnee Heights sophomore, cymbals.

“You get to see other people’s type of music,” said Tyler Gentry, Shawnee Heights senior, bass drum.

Admission to the event was two canned goods or $2. The canned goods and proceeds will go to local food pantries and charities.