Grant drums up support for THS band

Thorsby High School’s drum line had weight lifted off its shoulders, literally, after receiving a $2,500 grant from Alabama Power that was used to purchase new harnesses to carry its drums.

Eight harnesses were purchased along with 10 base drum heads and nine stands.

The harnesses will come in handy when the band marches during parades or at halftime of football games.

“It is so much better, because before when we were doing a parade we felt like we were about to die from the harnesses digging into our shoulders,” said Jacob Harper, a member of the drum line.

The previous harnesses had been used by the band for some time and had a lot of wear and tear.

There were times while marching that the drum line was not sure if the harnesses would make it through, or if they would break along the route.

“We don’t have a lot of new equipment around here, and it’s because we just don’t have the money,” Thorsby band director John Phillips said.

Jacob Harper performs using one of the new harnesses purchased with a grant from Alabama Power. (Photo by Anthony Richards)

“We’re trying to pump some life back into the Thorsby band and make it something that people want to be a part of,” Phillips said. “We can’t change the situation, but we’re aware of it and we want it to be better.”

According to Phillips, Thorsby’s band has developed into a family atmosphere for all those involved.

Superintendent Tommy Glasscock was on hand to witness Van Forrester present the grant and saw Thorsby’s drum line in action, as they performed using the new equipment.

The drum line includes Harper, Chad Evans, Christopher Knight, Joshua Rojas and is led by Makayla Marler.

The entire drum line is now comprised of Pearl percussion instruments.

The addition of the new equipment has led to students showing interest in band that have had no prior connection to the program, Phillips said.

Although the drum line is fairly reserved, the grant should help them continue expressing themselves through music.

“We speak with our drum sticks,” Evans said.

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