The NSU Drumline and NSU Steel Band will perform “Drums Along the River” on Friday, Oct. 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the Downtown Riverbank Stage. Admission is free. Assistant Professor of Music Dr. Oliver Molina directs the ensembles.
The drumline will perform stand cadences, traditional school songs, and some show music that will be a preview for the Band Extravaganza on October 29 in Turpin Stadium. The steel band have its premiere performance. There will be a second performance on Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall for NSU students and faculty.
Drumline personnel include Jackson Forester of Rowlett, Texas, Austin Myers of Pittsburg, Texas, Emily Landers of Texarkana, Texas, Elizabeth Atnip of Haughton, Juan Santos and Elias Castro of Cartegena, Colombia, Miguel Bustillo of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Lindsey Weatherford and Mason Trumps of Alexandria and Carson Brown of DeRidder on snares.
Playing on tenors are Caleb Callendar of Denham Springs, Brandon Duecker of Bullard, Texas, Kevin Hendricks of Van Alstyne, Texas, Covie Latham of Beckville, Texas, and Austin Pierre of Houma.
Performing on bass drums are Caroline Shepherd of Frisco, Texas, Ellise Vice of Baton Rouge, Roger Jones of Avondale, Elena Farabough of Haughton, Renwick McPherson of Morgan City, Zachary Lafosse and Zachary Duhon of Lafayette and Jacob Aultman of DeQuincy.
On cymbals will be Connor Barrios of Alexandria, Marcus Dean of Metairie and Sam Ward of Stonewall.
Members of the steel band are Forester, Santos, Bustillo, Aultman, Duhon, Brown, Lafosse, Alanna Hailey of Jena, Kora Chauveaux of Lafayette, Damian Lunny of Boothwyn, Pennsylvania, John Spero of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, Emily Essary of Paris, Texas, and Christina Colley of Henderson, Texas.
The steel band was created in early 2020 through the funding of a grant through the Louisiana Board of Regents. The grant allowed Northwestern State to acquire steel drums, in addition to instrument cases, stands, covers, mallets, and sheet music. The addition of this ensemble to the school is designed to add diversity in music with traditional world instruments and cultures that will enhance the student experience. It is the first world music ensemble at NSU.
Steel drums are melodic percussion instruments with origins in the Caribbean, specifically the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. Steel drums hold the distinction of being the most recent musical instruments to evolve in the Western world, beginning in the early 1940s. The trend of the world music ensemble began at Northern Illinois University in 1972. Since then, steel bands have become extremely popular in the United States and have become an integral part of college, secondary and primary music programs throughout the country. In Louisiana, there are four school-based steel drum ensembles.