Indoor football fans at the Texas Revolution game in Frisco on April 14 will also enjoy a rousing performance by the Caldwell Arts Academy drumline. “We love showcasing our students and the talents they have,” explained Bobby Markle, principal of the Tyler Independent School District campus.
The drumline is even more impressive because it is made up entirely of elementary students.
In fact, the Caldwell kids are the first competitive elementary school drumline in East Texas. “We were looking for outlets for these kids to perform. Elementary drumlining is not a big thing in Texas. It’s usually reserved for middle schools and high schools,” Markle said. “These are not just elementary students who picked up percussion and are going to struggle through cadences. These kids really have a God-given talent.”
That talent is now taking the Caldwell drumline to Stonewater Roofing Field at the Ford Center in Frisco, home of the Dallas Cowboys and home field for the Texas Revolution indoor football team. The Revs square off against the Amarillo Venom at 1:00 PM on Sunday, April 14, with the pint-sized drummers as featured entertainers.
“Our kids get to perform on some pretty big stages just because of what our school does, but there’s not a bigger stage than where they are going on Sunday,” Markle added. “These kids will surprise a lot of those audience members. These kids are kids, don’t get me wrong, but they are professionals.”
The afterschool drumline program began with some parents who had experience in percussion and wanted to share their own talents with the younger generation. “At the time, we were having some discipline issues and issues with engagement. I thought, what a great outlet for young men to be able to beat on something. They want to do it anyway,” recalled Markle. “Once we got started, it just took off and has really been a robust program for us that will continue not only as a drumline, but as a part of our percussion curriculum.”
Stonewater Roofing COO Jacob Law (a former drum major) and CMO Trent Spradlin (a former drum captain) contributed educational and financial resources to the program. Spradlin is also one of the drumline directors. Students practice two days each week, learning discipline and character development, along with a little bit of rhythm.
“I just think communities need to be engaged in things that are positive,” Markle said. “We run into a lot of distractions in our communities around differences and things like that. But you get these kids on a drumline and see all the adults and children watching, smiling… that’s what community is about. It’s about the great things in your community, and this drumline is one of them.”