Indoor drumline has high expectations for upcoming season
The Liberty University Indoor Drumline earned the title of sixth in the world after competing in the 2019 World Championships.
With this recognition, the drumline drew the attention of Dr. Thomas Goddard, who worked as a percussionist for The Walt Disney Company at the time.
Noticing the spectacular job done by the group from Liberty, Goddard realized that he did not just want to watch and listen to them. He wanted to direct them.
Goddard became director of the Liberty University Indoor Drumline in 2020, leading them to third place in the worldwide rankings (that is, until COVID-19 hit, halting any group from competing at the world stage).
In 2021, the season proved to be an interesting one, with competitions consisting of recordings of each drumline submitted virtually. Then came the 2022 season, which was very successful, but unfortunately, the drumline’s first performance at the World Championship was not enough to move on to the semi-finals.
This year, Goddard and his team hope to make it to the World Championship finals and place even better than they did in 2019.
In preparation for this season to be the best yet, the Indoor Drumline held auditions last October and November, and the very weekend after these auditions, rehearsals began.
With only a few weekend rehearsals taking place last semester, things really picked up at the beginning of the spring semester. January called for the start of rehearsals
The time put into these long weekends of practice resulted in an excellent start to the season. The ensemble brought home the first-place title from this year’s first competition Feb. 11.
As Goddard’s fourth season directing the indoor drumline begins, he expressed the passion he has for what he does.
“I’m just very honored to be here,” Goddard said. “I think it’s one of the best ensembles we have. I love it.”
The dedication and passion for this drumline are seen not only in Goddard, but also in the students that make up the group.
Jay Harris, the center snare and drumline section leader, plays in the marching band drumline as well as the indoor drumline. Harris loves drumming and the people whom he has met through it. He also enjoys practicing and perfecting the shows that he and the others perform. Harris’s love for performing also comes from his view of seeing it as an act of worship and a way to glorify God.
“It’s a way that I can worship the Lord with the gifts and talents that he gave me,” Harris said.
Micah Elder, the cymbal line section leader, has played in the indoor drumline for four years. Elder hopes to place in the top-five of their class for the World Championship this year. He believes this to be possible because of the people that come together as part of the drumline and the relationships they have with each other.
“The bond that the group has with one another is something that is one of a kind,” Elder said. “There is very little that can break us apart.”
With the commitment the indoor drumline has to its craft and the connection the members have with one another, everyone has high hopes for making it to the World Championship Finals.
Competitions this season continue from February to April, when the World Championship takes place.
Williams is a news reporter for the Liberty Champion