The Heartbeat of The School

Kay Colstrom

More stories from Kay Colstrom

Bishop Spruce (10th) performing at Hummer.

The school’s heart beats in drums. The drumline is a key focal point for T-high students. It’s very alluring to watch them be synced, moving rhythmically while banging their drums. The Trojan drumline is an activity for percussion musicians on the Trojan Band. They perform over 125 times a year with most gigs in the summer. After spending some time with some of the drummers and those in the drumline and they had some very interesting things to say about their experiences.

Bishop Spruce (10th) said the biggest impact that joining the drumline had on his life is his mental health. “Its made my mental health a lot more stable. It gave me something to focus on. Because you know. It gave me something for me to not like do anything bad to get me expelled.”
So not only is the drumline pleasing to the ears but it has had a positive impact on those in it.
He also said “It’s like a goal. When you see a goal you want to get there at any cost and you don’t want to make stupid mistakes so you don’t end up not achieving a goal.”

The drumline gives the drummers a focus. A goal. Something to look forward to. To keep them on track. The drumline has also made it so that the drummers have developed a good sense of communication skills with their community. establishing relationships with like-minded people and forging connections.

Latrice Hysten (11th) playing the bass drum at a performance with the drumline.

Bass player Latrice Hysten (11th) said what got her interested in the drumline was “watching the drumline at a basketball or a football game. I just love watching them have fun just playing. Its what made me want to do it and be a part of it. And know that it’s actually a family, just people like coming together.”

Ke Ni (11th) at the antique store in the Topeka Vendors market on Halloween night.

She compares being in the drumline to being a part of a family. It gives them a sense of community, just as T- High is like a family and gives the crowd a sense of community.

Cymbals player Ke Ni (11th) said she didn’t always know what she wanted to play. “In the beginning, it was a challenge because I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to stay with cymbals or go to quads instead. As time went on, I eventually stuck with cymbals, but I’m spreading out to more instruments in case they need me to help them.”

Each person here has said that the drumline has had a positive impact on their life. Whether that is by giving them a community, developing communication skills, or helping them focus. The drummers have gone through a lot and the drumline has helped with a bit of it.