It’s about to get loud at Sardis Secondary.
The local high school will be hosting the Canadian Drumline Association’s B.C. Championships on May 6 and it’ll be open to the public.
“I’m excited. I expect it to be quite competitive. I think the scores are going to be very close,” said teacher Kris Werner, who’s been teaching the drumline program at Sardis since 2017.
There will be 13 drumlines performing from 11 different schools. Sardis is one of the high schools that will have two drumlines competing – one in the concert class and one in the intermediate class.
“Our biggest competition, I think, is probably MEI from Abbotsford,” Werner said. “They’ve placed first every year. They have an outstanding program.”
But Sardis also does a fantastic job, he added, giving kudos to his students. Members of the senior drumline do a lot of mentoring with the juniors.
“I rely heavily on my students to have built-in leadership.”
One student he acknowledged was Thomas Mordaunt. The three songs the seniors will be playing were all written by the Grade 12 student. He also arranged the music for the juniors.
“He’s a very big part of it. He’s so passionate, just a wonderful student.”
The seniors take on the majority of the community performances, but the juniors learn the same music that the seniors play so the younger kids can sub in for the senior members when necessary.
“I’ve used that probably on half a dozen occasions this year, especially with the Canucks tenure.”
In October they were hired by the Vancouver Canucks to be their official drumline for the year. At every home game, seven members of the Sardis drumline play “hype” music in the concourse and at the end of intermissions, Werner said.
Before they were playing at the Canucks games, when the pandemic hit, the Sardis drumline members were able to focus a lot more time working on their technique since they were not able to do any community performances.
Werner is hoping that extra time will pay off on May 6, giving them what they need to place first and head to nationals.
This year marks the fifth time Sardis will be competing in the provincials.
There are three classes: concert class (juniors) where the drumline is stationary with choreography, intermediate (seniors) where there’s a marching element and a higher level of technical skills, and alumni (community based drumlines).
Sardis has about 60 students in its two drumlines and they will be competing in the concert and intermediate classes. They will be judged on drum skills, technical and music effect, and visuals (choreography).
The Canadian Drumline Association’s B.C. Championships takes place on Friday, May 6 at Sardis Secondary School (45460 Stevenson Rd.). It begins at 11:55 a.m. and goes until about 2:50 p.m. Admission is by donation and the money goes back to the Sardis drumline program to help pay for equipment and repairs.