An Ensemble of Their Own
“We are one beat,” says Cedrik De Guzman and Kailani Tokiyeda, co-section leaders of Eagle Rock’s drumline. The two seniors, who have been best friends since 2nd grade, are the leaders of the percussion side of Band, which has been heard performing year-round. The busiest time of the year for the band is the fall semester. Not only because is it football season, but the marching season as well. However, the drumline is not just a section of the band. “It is itself a complete ensemble,” says Ms. Silverman, the director of the band program here at Eagle Rock High School. The drum-line by itself is seen playing cadences, which are the drumline’s “songs” for pep rallies, performing at fundraisers, and ultimately being a core part of the Eagle Rock spirit during football games.
The line initially started with Cedrik and his partner in crime, Kayson Capati who graduated in 2018. “Kayson and I made it what it is. They didn’t have a formal drumline and didn’t march parades. It started off as a suggestion - ‘Hey, man, check out this cadence’, and we built it from there.” The cadence that started it all is called Raptor, and even our drill team has their own routine for it that they perform at pep rallies and in the stands during games. Kai reminisces about their first gig at a farmers market where they first realized they had a lot of potential. Having been in the drumline since freshman year, Cedrik draws attention to how the line initially began with four drummers.“It’s really nice to experience it grow, now we have 13 members - a full line.”
Each member has an important role. Cedrik DeGuzman, Alex Blank, and Keira Kevany (that’s me!) play the snare drum - the most recognizable instrument in the drumline. The quads, or tenor drums, are four smaller drum heads of different pitches. On the tenors are Kai Tokiyeda and Jamie Baranda. There are four bass drums - each is a different size and pitch, and played by one person. Joshua Roberts, Alejandro Espinoza, (senior!) James Corrigan, (senior!) and Rafaela Trajano make up core beat. On cymbals are Kalisa Minas and Kiana Andrada.
To prepare for football season, the line takes an extra week before to rehearse, along with one week after that for band camp with the whole ensemble, which is two weeks of rehearsal at school before the semester begins. Some of the hardest but most rewarding parts is teaching the newbies the cadences and marching charts, Cedrik and Kai say. These two weeks gives the members a chance to bond and get to know one another. When asked what separates the drumline from the rest of the band, Ms. Silverman emphasizes the level and comradery that it requires. “We’re all pretty goofy. It’s about having fun and finding discipline,” Kai states. “Drumline is a big, happy family,” adds Cedrik.
With so many seniors, they plan to make this year as amazing as possible - albeit bittersweet. They’ll graduate with the experiences of watching the line grow, and with great memories. “Every year it gets better and better,” Ms. Silverman says. This upcoming season is the best drumline we’ve seen yet. Before the season ends, Cedrik hopes to play one last cadence. “I’ve been wanting to play it for four years, and when we finally do, it will be the peak of how good we are.”