Less than a month after the end of the 2015-16 school year, Pickerington High School North percussion students were in their school parking lot running laps and sharpening marching and drumming techniques in preparation of 2016-17.

Less than a month after the end of the 2015-16 school year, Pickerington High School North percussion students were in their school parking lot running laps and sharpening marching and drumming techniques in preparation of 2016-17.

July 2, they'll assemble at Peace United Methodist Church's parking lot, 235 Diley Road, for roughly 12 hours of rehearsing and washing cars.

The annual Drumathon and Car Wash will run from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the church, where the event was relocated due to the closure of the Sears Hardware store on Hill Road North. Car wash hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and drumming goes all day -- yet they call it summer "break."

It's not so bad, though, according to Spencer Bhaerman, Julian Johnson and Iman Pace, three drumline seniors-to-be who each will be back for their fourth Drumathon.

"It's cool to help them, even though it's a small task like washing their cars," Johnson said.

Pace said alternating, one-hour segments of washing cars actually can boost drumming.

"When we come back from the car wash we're loose and ready to go," he said.

The North Drumathon and Car Wash kicks off the new band season and it's when members, from freshmen to seniors, start to put in work for a successful season.

It also raises money, typically $2,000 to $3,000, to help pay for things such as sheet music, drumsticks, mallets and drum heads.

Students take pledges prior to the event and accept donations from passers-through.

"It's sort of a free car wash with any donation amount accepted," said Chris Carmean, North assistant band director and percussion instructor.

Carmean also hopes to raise $18,000 to buy new marching drums for the first time since North opened in 2003. A very good day July 2 might help that cause, but he's also set up a "PHSN Percussion Drumline" Go Fund Me website for contributions.

"All (of) those drums are 13 years old," Carmean said. "They're showing their age and we need to replace them."

The seniors said being percussion students and playing in the drumline have helped them establish strong friendships and provided high school highlights.

And in addition to looking on the bright side of a long day, they're eager to start melding good times and great music with this year's 21-member section at the Drumathon and Car Wash.

"As well as getting a good tan, we get really good work done," Bhaerman said. "It usually takes a lot of work, and this is where it begins."