Drumline Brings New Rhythm to Campus Events

Note:  This story was originally published in the Spring 2014 issue of Berry magazine.

DrumlineA new musical ensemble inspired by the addition of football as an intercollegiate sport at Berry has added a rhythmic beat to many campus events. The Viking Drumline made its debut to rave reviews at the inaugural football game in September and quickly assumed an identity of its own. 

“Drumline is cool, whether you like sports or not,” said Dr. John David, drumline director and visiting assistant professor of music. “Everybody likes a groove. I think it’s been great for school spirit – it gives you something to rally around.”

Consisting of four snare, two tenor and five bass drums accompanied by four cymbals, the 15-member group is the official musical ensemble for Berry athletics, providing entertainment and helping spark fan excitement at events throughout the year. 

Two student percussionists, Jordan Epperson and Austin Amandolia, admitted to being nervous about how the group would be received. But after their first performance at the football game, drumline members were flooded with praise and support.

“Countless people have continued to show excitement about what we are doing,” said Amandolia, a freshman physics and chemistry major. 

“I'm really thankful that everyone has allowed the drumline to integrate itself into Berry's evolving culture,” added Epperson, a sophomore marketing major and music minor.

The drumline’s popularity can be measured by the more than 500 followers of its Facebook fan page, as well as the numerous requests it receives to perform on campus and off. As a performance outlet for music majors and non-majors alike, the ensemble definitely has potential for future growth. David noted that there are plans to add keyboard instruments and world percussion. 

The group’s initial success has already resulted in increased interest in Berry’s music program.

“The drumline has had a very positive impact,” said Dr. Kris Carlisle, associate professor of music and acting chair of fine arts. “It has helped to raise the visibility of our music program.”

Story by Casey Cox (14C), then student editorial supervisor for Berry's philanthropic communications staff; artwork by Ryan Smith (00C).