It’s been a hell of a drumline season.
Rehearsing for approximately 22 hours every weekend all the way up in St. Louis since October through April 23 carrying a 35 lb drum constantly calls for a lot of energy.
This season was my fourth season marching bass drum, third season marching competitively, and first season competing in WGI and in a non affiliated school group. It was a wild ride.
Honestly, we started off a bit rough. From getting yelled at rehearsal every weekend to doing Tabata workouts to constant back aches, it was worth it this weekend.
We traveled to Dayton, Ohio for WGI World Championships this past weekend to represent St. Louis and our organization. There were Scholastic A drumlines there, Open class, World class, and several more. We competed in Prelims on Thursday, Semifinals on Friday, and Finals on Saturday.
Last year was the first year Freedom has ever even made finals in history. They placed 14th overall and that even there was a great accomplishment for the group. This year was insane.
We scored a 90.213 in prelims. Freedom has never, in history, broken a 90 or close to a 90. This was huge.
We placed 2nd in our round and 7th overall. Because we placed 7th, we moved onto to Semifinals Friday.
In Semifinals, we scored a 92.688! This was CRAZY! Our front ensemble caption head told us in the beginning of the season that he had a number in mind that he would be content with the season if we hit it. It was a 92. We placed 2nd in our round again but bumped up to 5th place overall! We made it to finals!
Warming up in the lot for final was great. We were the talk of Open class so we had a crowd in the lot and fan clubs. It was a bit chilly but once we got drumming there was no stopping. We finished up and began heading in.
Once we got in the back of the arena, we had to bring all of our equipment down a steep hill inside to get to the floor. There was the tunnel. Only finalists get to experience “the tunnel.” This was it. The last time competing our show, performing our show, performing with this group who has turned into my family over the past 6 months. I peaked out through the curtains and could not believe the crowd that was there. To see our show.
They opened the curtain and said “let’s go Freedom.”
We pushed out our tarp, props, carried our drums, pulled out the tarp, stretched it, and set up in our beginning set.
This was it. Deep breaths. This was the last time I would perform this show in these costumes with these people. The show that contains 6 1/2 minutes of music we cleaned like crazy for 6 months and endless hours of practice. The pain went away. The hardwork and backaches were forgotten.
“Freedom Percussion, you may take the floor.”
Basses had one of their best runs all season long. We fuckin’ rocked it. Visually, we finally came together.
Everyone finally believed we were good.
We got told so many times how much we sucked and that we “didn’t want to kill people.”
Finally, we believed.
The lights, the crowd, the cheering.
Something I will never forget.
We finished our run and were breathing heavily with the pride under our breaths.
We did it. It’s over. The hard work is over.
We loaded the truck, our equipment, our drums, and waited for full retreat.
We walked in, and it was unbelievable.
The lights were multicolored and looked like a party to be honest.
They called Scholastic scores first, then it was Open class’ turn.
They went down the line beginning with 15th place. Finally, they got up to 7th and 6th place. THEY STILL HADN’T CALLED OUR NAME!
We couldn’t believe it.
Finally, once they approached fourth place, we squeezed each other. Were we going to be a medalist??
In fourth place with a score of ______, Spirit Winter Percussion.
With our arms wrapped around each other, the basses just squeezed and hugged each other. Tears rushed down my face with a huge smile. I couldn’t believe it.
Freedom Percussion accomplished our goal of walkingaway with metal around our necks and the title of being a WGI Independant Open class medalist.
I am so proud to have been a part of this drumline this year and am excited to see the years to come.