Licking County News

Watkins Memorial has chance to endorse drum equipment

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Members of the Watkins Memorial High School Marching Warriors drumline pose with a banner announcing their opportunity to endorse Premier Percussion and Marching USA equipment beginning in the 2013 season. Current drumline members include: (front row, from left) Will Fitzpatrick, Marshall Grady, Zoe Pathis, Victoria Killebrew, Danny Cox, Taylor Willis, Steven Zalis; (back row, from left) Matt Pietzcker, Shyanne Kulick, Alex Mundziak, Ryan Cash, Micah Sheese, Seth Short and Joe Coffel.
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By ThisWeek Community News  • 

The Watkins Memorial High School drumline has been offered a rare opportunity, but it's up to its members to make it happen.

Premier Percussion of Leicester, England, and Marching USA of Prosper, Texas, officially asked the Watkins Memorial Marching Warriors drumline to endorse Premier drums and play them exclusively starting with the 2013 season.

"This almost never happens for high school bands. For them to reach out to us is incredible," said Ross Musick, the high school's percussion instructor.

According to the endorsement, Watkins Memorial would be featured in advertising for Premier and Marching USA, its U.S. distributor. This would be the first Premier endorsement in the Midwest, and it would put Watkins Memorial in the company of just a handful of endorsing schools nationwide.

"To see our program recognized in this way is a testament to the hard work these students put in every day," Musick said. "We have a group of kids who commit to excellence in every rehearsal and every performance."

He said the endorsement means that Premier is offering the drumline its newest and best equipment basically at cost and counting on the drumline for positive exposure of that equipment.

"Marching USA is very pleased to work with a group like Watkins Memorial. The students show a great deal of ability and we wish to aid them in their proven success," said Mathew Lunsford, Marching USA dealer relations manager. "With the addition of the Premier brand to the Watkins Memorial family, we hope for great achievements from the program to help reintroduce our brand in the greater Midwest and Ohio Valley."

Musick emphasized, however, that the endorsement is only a proposal at this point.

The drumline would receive discounts on new Premier equipment up to 60 percent, but the drumline members must raise the initial capital investment.

Musick said drumline members soon will reach out to the community to raise their portion of the new equipment, which is $8,500. By raising this money independently, Musick said, drumline members hope that other funds from the Watkins Band Boosters and from the Southwest Licking school district can be used for more pressing needs within the band program.

"We're looking at crazy deals on top-notch equipment," he said. "But there are more immediate (band program) needs and we will not take resources from anything else. We're doing this on our own."

Assuming drumline members raise the $8,500, the drumline would use a new set of Premier Revolution series marching drums this year.

Should the drumline purchase the new equipment, Musick said, the existing equipment would be used for camp and longer rehearsals to save wear and tear on the new equipment.

"Our old stuff still has some life left in it," he said, adding that equipment usually isn't replaced until it's falling apart.

Musick's goal is to have the new equipment by spring of this year.

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