Marching to the beat of the new KCHS Drum Line

Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2007


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KCHS Drum Line give Kenai Chamber a taste of what's in store for Electric Light Parade next month.

Thanks to the primary sponsorship of the Kenai Chamber of Commerce parades in the Central Peninsula will now feature a marching Drum Line. “The students got the idea from seeing Wasilla’s Drum Line and also from a field trip I took them on to UCLA two years ago where a contingency of students did a mass band marching half time show at the Rose Bowl Stadium in front of 90,000 people and that kind of got the marching bug into their bloodstream and they didn’t let go of the idea until we have what we have here today,” Kenai Central High School band director Deborah Sounart told those attending the Kenai Chamber weekly luncheon last week at the Kenai Merit Inn.


Now that football season is over the KCHS Drum Line plans to perform at all Kardinal home basketball games and will be marching in the Christmas Comes to Kenai Electric Light parade November 23rd. They have also committed to leading the 2008 4th of July Parade in Kenai says Sounart. According to Sounart the time commitment to be a member of the drum line is huge, “Three mornings a week at 6:45am before school starts we practice. A lot of the drum line students are band members who play other wind and brass instruments who come out for the shear fun of drumming and are learning part of the marching process in addition to all their other work and activities,” explained Deborah.

Approximately 25 KCHS students participate in the Drum Line cadences, five of whom attended a drum line camp this summer, “The cadences come from a variety of places, drum books, I have written a couple of cadences myself, and one of the Kenai Chamber members Roy Wells is what we call our percussion composer in residence he writes many of the cadences we deliver,” said Sounart.

It was just last summer that the Kenai Chamber announced that they planned on sponsoring a drum line at KCHS and last week at the demonstration many members expressed amazement at how good the students had become in such a short period of time, “It was a real learning curve and the kids have really worked hard. The funding to develop the drum line was just a miracle. The Kenai Chamber of Commerce stepped up as our primary sponsor with $2,000 and within 6 weeks over the summer a myriad of other businesses came forward and we raised $6,900 dollars that allowed us to order bass drums, snare drums, cymbals, mallets, practice flags, show flags, and the students purchased their own jackets and it is where you see it today and will be able to hear at the Christmas Comes to Kenai Light Parade the day after Thanksgiving,” added Sounart. “We are very impressed with these students and their directors and totally looking forward to having them lead the Christmas Comes to Kenai parade this year,” said Kenai Chamber Board president Jason Carroll.

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