Tomorrow night Drumline Live plays the Palace Theatre. Here's our print piece. And here's some more we learned from company manager Reggie Brayon.
Downsizing a marching band from nearly 200 members to 37 was a necessity Drumline Live creators realized would be required to bring their show to concert halls. Company manager Reggie Brayon said there were others, starting with, yes, the size of the show. Fitting even the the downsized group in the various venues “is always an issue,” Brayon said. “it’s a relatively large cast, even compared to big Broadway shows.” Another challenge he said was finding talent. Brayon said the company held a number of auditions throughout the south, but also via YouTube. “We’re looking for people who not only can play but play and march, play and dance. And for people who can play multiple instruments.” For example, he said, the tour’s lead vocalist is a young woman who also plays trumpet and snare drum. Many of the marchers are alumni of Florida A&M University, a vanguard HBCU (historically black colleges and universities) marching band program that also was the proving ground for Drumline Live co-creators Don Roberts and Demetrius Hubert. Lastly, he said the large frontline cast doesn’t leave room for extras/understudies/reserves. “We’re traveling with 37,” he said. “If someone get hurt, we just do what is called cover down in the marching band community (adjusting the spacing accordingly).”