Upper Darby students are champion drummers

Posted: April 27, 2013

All those hours of practice paid off big time for a group of Delaware County student musicians.

The Upper Darby High School Indoor Drumline placed best in its division at the Winter Guard International (WGI) World Championship, the nation's largest such competition, last weekend in Dayton, Ohio.

"We were extremely proud," said band director Jason Majerczak.

The group of more than 40 students finished with a final score of 96.65, its highest ever, beating 31 other groups. The students received gold medals and the school a large trophy, Majerczak said.

A working-class school district with many immigrant residents, Upper Darby is well known and well regarded for its music and arts programs.

Last year, proposed music and art budget cuts drew huge protests. This year, leading up to the budget presentation Tuesday, community forums were held. In those, residents clearly stated they did not want to see those programs cut despite a looming $9.7 million deficit.

Upper Darby's Royals indoor drum line includes ninth through 12th graders. Some students who join are already percussionists; others have played other instruments, or none. They start practicing in November, rehearsing two nights a week for three hours a night and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays. They take part in local competitions starting in February. The shows mix music and movement.


Contact Rita Giordano at 610-313-8232, rgiordano@phillynews.com or on Twitter@ritagiordano.

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