For the Pickerington High School North percussion section, nothing says summertime like the Drumathon and Car Wash.

By late June each summer, the drumline is back at work, practicing in the school's parking lot to get in shape and on time.

On Saturday, July 1, the 2017-18 Panther percussionists will step up preparations for marching band season in another parking lot for their annual Drumathon and Car Wash at Peace United Methodist Church, 235 Diley Road.

"We've been rehearsing the past three or four weeks, but the Drumathon is our first chance to work on the show music for the year," said Clay Schneider, a North senior. "It's a lot of fun and a lot of work."

At the Drumathon and Car Wash, students from the 22-member drumline will be introduced to the music they'll perform at competitions throughout the fall, and they'll rehearse from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Drumathon.

They'll also take shifts washing cars from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Residents are invited to get vehicles washed and take in the kickoff to another school year and show season.

They also can help offset costs for percussion program equipment, such as drumsticks, mallets, drumheads and instruments, through donations.

"It's a big day for us because we get our music, but it's also big because it helps fund the things we need throughout the school year," said North sophomore Emmie Hess. "It's a really good time for us to start working together for our goals for the upcoming competition season."

North senior Caleb Marsh said drumline members will put in about 12 hours for the Drumathon and Car Wash, but it's a tradition he likes as he enters his last year in the band.

"It's really the first time we get to play for the community and it helps get us ready for the Fourth of July parade," Marsh said.

Likewise, Chris Carmean, North's assistant band director and percussion instructor, said he's eager to get to work on the coming school year's performance material.

He also said he looks forward to seeing former students and performing for the community in such fundraisers as the Drumathon and Car Wash.

"We are grateful and appreciative of the community's support of our music and fundraising programs," Carmean said.

"With this support we are able to have the resources we need to serve many students every year, enriching their education through the performing arts, and we are able to perform for the community," he said. "You can look for us in the July Fourth parade."

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