School spirit commences with Drumline’s beat


Photo by Jona Jancewicz

Drumline prepares to perform during the fall sports pep rally. Members enjoyed fall events and look forward to upcoming performance opportunities.

The smells of hamburgers and hotdogs being cooked and students yelling and the background tunes of Drumline complete the experience of a football game. At the heart of WJ’s school spirit, along with Poms and the cheer team, is Drumline.

Drumline is a school-sponsored club with co-captains Matthew Ashman and Ryan Mulligan. They play instruments such as the cymbals and marching quads to brighten up school events. They collaborate with other clubs and have been one of WJ’s core clubs for many years.

Drumline will continue to play at football games, pep rallies and upcoming major events. Drumline often plays with the Pep Band during football games, but for smaller, last-minute events, Drumline is often called upon due to their easy mobility and organization.

“They did the opening day [and] they did the first day of school,” music teacher Michael Helgerman said.
In addition, Drumline and Poms are closely linked together and collaborate with one another for school events.

“We always play with them at the Homecoming game [during their halftime performance],” Ashman said.

Drumline will also perform with Poms during their competition season starting Feb. 4, 2023. They will learn and practice new music specifically for the event.

“It is tradition to have your drumline play a song,” Ashman said.

Due to Drumline’s huge increase in members from past years, the club has been trying to buy new instruments, since those that are currently being used are 10-15 years old. Many of the drums and drum heads have reached the end of their lifetime.

“Maybe we will do some separate fundraising depending on how much the Booster Club gives us,” Mulligan said.

Drumline is officially done recruiting members, and the finalized team consists of 15 members.

We have gotten a bunch of new members, which is really unprecedented because in the past, it’s been really difficult to get members.

— Ryan Mulligan

Drumline has truly grown, progressed and fully recovered from the year-long gap due to Covid. The Drumline members run their own rehearsals, decide what reps they want to do and collaborate together to cultivate their performances. These characteristics allow the members to value what they play.

“You can tell when they perform that they are excited about what they are doing because they made it,” Helgerman said.

As Drumline is student-led, members and captains are allowed room for growth and improvement within the club. Drumline’s main goal is for members to have a good time and make memorable experiences.