Drumline Takes Home First Ever Dripping Springs Invitational Grand Championship

Noah Hedges, Reporter

For the first time ever, the Cedar Park Drumline was crowned grand champions at the Thunder In The Hills Invitational Drumline Contest. In years past, Cedar Park has shown well in their performances at the contest, placing third in 2016 and second in 2017.

“It just feels like it’s been culminating for such a long time,” senior tenor captain AJ Gonzalez said. “We’ve been getting better as a line for the last few years and it finally paid off. It was a great and fulfilling start to my last year on this line.”

Photo Courtesy of Band SmugMug
The Drumline performs one of six arrangements during the Thunder in the Hills Invitational.

In addition to class placement, captions for the best section are awarded to the snares, tenors, bass, cymbals and front ensemble. Cedar Park’s front ensemble has walked out of this competition with their respective caption award every year since 2015. The freshmen from 2015, including Amy Shannon, are now seniors, and they won the front ensemble caption in each of their four years.

“When the judges announced that Cedar Park won the front ensemble caption for the fourth year in a row, I was in shock,” Shannon said. “I can definitely say that we were all very nervous but determined to win it again, it was truly an honor and an amazing experience to receive the award for a fourth consecutive year.”

Along with the front ensemble coming out strong this year as an attribute to the first ever grand championship, the battery percussion sections played “disgustingly well,” according to senior tenor player Alec Peal. A large portion of the scoring aspect is what the judges hear on the playing field, as the judges each awarded a first place vote.

“It was super cool to hear us play something clean,” Peal said. “And to hear the judge following up with words like “yep” or “yea” almost guarantees that we’re doing something right. Winning this competition was the perfect way to start my senior season.”

Aside from the obvious factors of competition, friendships are built over time during countless hours of constant practice and rehearsal. Shannon met senior Emily Pumphret during their freshman year of marching band. They have lived through four years of hard work together in the front ensemble.

“Amy and I have been on this marimba line together and have stood by each other through the hardest times in band since the very beginning,” Pumphret said. “Winning this caption alongside my best friend for the fourth year in a row makes me feel like we have left a great mark on this front ensemble. Winning the whole competition for my last time around makes it all the more special.”

The Drumline celebrates winning Grand Champions at Thunder in the Hills Invitational for the first time in school history. Photo courtesy of Band SmugMug

After bringing home the first ever grand championship from the Thunder In The Hills Competition, the CP Drumline continues their season in their first full band competition, BOA Austin, at Kelly Reeves Stadium on Sept. 29th.