Club Spotlight: St. Mary's Drum Corps

Even though the semester is coming to an end, many clubs are already searching for new members to join next semester. One of these clubs is St. Mary’s Drum Corps (SMDC). SMDC performs at various events around campus, including Orientation Week and World Carnival. They entertain the audience by playing upbeat and enthusiastic beats at events throughout the year. At the weekly meetings, Drum Corps practices the beats they think will be well received by the audience. Along with their love for music, the Drum Corps incorporates the values that make St. Mary’s College such a great environment to be in, such as being supportive of each other in and out of the club. One of the members of the club, first-year Sarah Didden, finds Drum Corps a great place to meet new people and share a love for music and fun. “Drum Corps is all about having fun and supporting each other. It’s such a welcoming environment where we can learn new beats and, if you’ve never played before, learn an entirely new instrument.” Another reason that Drum Corps is a strong choice of a new club to join is the fact that no experience is necessary! You can join the club without having any prior experience with any instrument, including the drums. Didden, who is set to be the new Vice President of the club next year, recommends the club to anyone who is interested. “If you’ve ever even thought about joining I encourage you to come out to a meeting! No experience is necessary, and so there are no reasons not to give it a shot!” she explains. “The experience has been so much fun and I have loved getting to know the amazing people in the club.”

Junior Derrick Fyfield, President and founder of SMDC, explained how the club began and what the future holds for Drum Corps next year.

Point News: Why did you first join Drum Corps? How has the experience been for you?

DF: I am the founder and President of SMDC. My interest in playing in Drum Corps stems from my experience while in middle and high school. When I arrived at St. Mary’s, I had no intentions of starting another one here. It began with small conversations amongst friends, and then transitioned into supportive suggestions from upperclassman at that time. I then did an informal poll on the Class of 2015 Facebook page. From the responses to this post, it appeared that students and staff alike seemed interested – I did not even have to look for an advisor, because Rob Maddox almost immediately offered! Once the club was up and running – gracefully funded by the SGA – we prepared for our first performance ever, at the World Carnival event in the spring of 2012. I would say my experience has been one of great joy and fond memories. From our very first performance which incorporated humor and lots of corniness, to playing at pep rallies, parades and special events. In the lifespan of SMDC, my experience has been of utter happiness and satisfaction – being able to support the campus community in a pretty loud way.

What do you think of the atmosphere of the club, compared to other clubs on campus?

DF: I would have to say that the atmosphere of the club is highlighted at any given practice. Our club’s main objective is to learn and solidify skills in playing the drums. However, we encourage one another to simply enjoy the experience, and be yourself. This then leads to a playful atmosphere of laughter, stories, and fun.

Any changes upcoming for next year?

DF: For this upcoming fall, we will be adding a second quad drum (which is the drum that has four connected heads). This will allow for more individuals to get a chance to try it out and explore! The quads are indeed really fun to play, as each head has a unique tone. We are looking forward to having a second one at our practices. Also, another thing we will be pushing for is [the opportunity to] perform at athletic games. We intend to reach out to Scott Divine and try to coordinate performances for half-times or even pre-game sessions.

Why do you recommend other students to join the club next year?

DF: To this I say… Come one, come all! When the club first began, there were only about three or four individuals who had any sort of experience playing the drums. We often promote the fact that no prior experience is necessary, and there will always be truth in this. One does not need to know how to play the drums to join SMDC! If anything, one should join for the purpose of beginning that learning process. If not, one can join simply for the experience of creating new bonds through the fun and memorable moments we share – both at practices and at performances.

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