If you are near the Johnson Center of Fine Arts building on a Wednesday or Thursday evening, you’ll hear the sound of bass drums and snares.
This is Franklin College’s new drumline, a program started by Joshua Torres, an adjunct percussion professor.
Torres started teaching at the college in the fall of 2015 and has played percussion instruments for 23 years.
When he arrived in Franklin, there was discussion about implementing a drumline, but no action—until this year.
Torres approached music professor Casey Hayes and David Brailow, who retired last year from his vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college position, about getting the program off the ground.
Last May, Torres issued a campus announcement on myFC, encouraging students to join the drum line in the fall.
Seven students, all who have ties to the music department, signed up.
“The first day of practice was the first day of class, and there were three days before the first performance,” Torres said. “We had to work quickly to set the groove and teach them to be prepared.”
In the future, Torres said he plans to continue to reach out to the entire campus and find prospective students who are looking for a small college atmosphere with a drumline.
“When people attend a football game, they’re able to see the drumline,” Torres said. “But if the school needs support in athletics, hopefully that’s something we can accommodate in the future.”
While some members have years of experience from high school, the experience is brand new for others.
Sophomore Chase Loyd was the sole percussionist in the band last year and played the drum set. This year, he plays one of two snares in the drumline.
“When the drumline was introduced, I was all for it,” Loyd said. “It has reignited my flame of interest in my music career.”
Meanwhile, the experience is new for freshman Austin Kitchen.
Kitchen, an undecided major never played percussion before this year, but when Hayes suggested he join the drum line, Kitchen said he instantly accepted.
“I thought it would be a good experience,” Kitchen said. “I’m thinking about either double majoring or minoring in music now.”
Kitchen said he was really nervous to join because he didn’t know what he was doing.
“I really like the experience because I’ve never played an instrument before or done percussion,” Kitchen said. “But it’s super fun.”
All participants plan to continue to participate in the drumline, as long as their schedules permit it.
“We’ll always find a place for someone interested,” Torres said. “Whether it’s crash symbols or bass drums—we don’t mind teaching someone to play.”
Students can register for the one-credit drumline course in the future on Self Service under MUS 001.