Richmond drumline wins international competition

Richmond drumline heads to international competition

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As the summer break winds down, competition season ramps up for one group of Richmond students.

They are members of the Ephesus Drumline, which regularly performs throughout the Richmond area.

Everyone marches to the beat of his or her own drum, unless they are part of a drumline. In that case, everyone steps, slides and shifts to the same catchy beat.

“I get to see smiles on people’s faces. Minister to different people, and have fun,” member Karina McClatchie said.

The Ephesus Drumline is hoping to repeat as champion at the event it won five years ago.
The Ephesus Drumline is hoping to repeat as champion at the event it won five years ago. (Source: NBC12)

While it can be fun, it is really about percussion and precision - two things the Ephesus Drumline knows all too well. The Richmond-based team - whose ages range from 8 to 18 - has been invited to perform nearly everywhere around the area.

“We play National Night Out. We play July 4. We play the Easter parade. The Christmas parade," member Johari Edwards said. “We do a lot of stuff. So much stuff I can’t remember it.”

The team, which is affiliated with the Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist Church, compete in the denomination’s international competition in Oshkosh, Wis, and took hom ethe top prize.

With more than 50,000 people scheduled to be in attendance, this is huge for the group.

“We’ve been practicing, practicing and practicing,” Joseph Johnson, Jr said.

The Ephesus Drumline is hoping to repeat as champion at the event it won five years ago.
The Ephesus Drumline is hoping to repeat as champion at the event it won five years ago. (Source: NBC12)

Johnson is one of the line's instructors, and says it has come a long way since he co-founded this team nearly 20 years ago.

“We saw there was a need for inner city drum corp, and we started one with the Ephesus Drumline,” Johnson said. “We want to teach them discipline. That’s really important. And we want to teach them that even though you may not know how to play when you first start out, that you can play as long as you have dedication, hard work, work ethic.”

“I’m very excited. I want to go win, but I also want to go to experience things and broaden my horizons,” Edwards said.

This competition only happens every five years, and the Ephesus Drumline also won it five years ago.

The Ephesus Drumline is hoping to repeat as champion at the event it won five years ago.
The Ephesus Drumline is hoping to repeat as champion at the event it won five years ago. (Source: NBC12)

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