DE PERE – It started as a way to stir up school spirit. Now students at West De Pere Middle School are getting ready to hit the big time.
The Phantom Drumline formed earlier in the school year and the months of practice are starting to pay off.
The day begins early at West De Pere Middle School.
“Good morning Isiah. You can harness up and we’ll go out to the gym,” said Dave Schepp, West De Pere Middle School band director.
“The kids are here, and playing at 6:45. For teenagers, that’s a tough thing, no matter what you’re offering,” said Schepp.
“We should do early morning drumline yoga,” said Schepp.
Fifteen 6th, 7th and 8th grade students make up the Phantom Drumline.
“There are four or five different unique parts going on at the same time, and they all work together in harmony. The groove is set there, and it’s great. The students get to work on their rudiments, rudimentary drumming and apply it in a very exciting venue,” said Schepp.
Band Director Dave Schepp started the group in October.
“We had all the spots filled within the first day,” said Schepp.
Since then, they’ve had plenty of gigs.
“So far, we’ve played at an assembly here and then at a high school basketball game,” said Erik Amond, seventh grade student.
“That went over really well,” said Schepp.
Now, the Phantom Drumline is ready for the pros.
“We’re going to be performing at the Bucks game, at the Bradley Center,” said Chase Braun, seventh grade student.
“I am really happy. I heard it, it kind of blew my mind. I wasn’t expecting it at all,” said Amond.
“It’s really exciting. It will be in front of a lot of people,” said Christine Neuville, seventh grade student.
Schepp says the group will add some choreography to its routine, but he says for the most part the Phantom Drumline is ready.
“That’s going to be a great and unique experience for us to give the middle schoolers that chance to play that big stage. There’s just nothing better than that,” said Schepp.
The drumline makes its Milwaukee debut on April 9.
The Phantom Drumline is also scheduled to march in the De Pere Memorial Day parade in May.