Naperville Central’s Drum Show features the school’s top percussion students who auditioned, made the cast, and spent nearly four months every day before school practicing complex musical arrangements. Of course, the Drum Show is much more than your average percussion ensemble.
“We do a lot of dancing, yelling, screaming, quiet stuff, loud stuff, it’s all
around you,” explains junior cast member Chris Herbert.
It’s literally all-around the audience. While performing Alexandre
Lunsqui’s “Entresons.Recreo”, the cast set up their instruments in different
parts of the theatre asking the audience to close their eyes and listen to the
unique atmosphere of sounds displayed.
“We can’t have cotton candy all the time,” Director Ben Wahlund said,
“Sometimes you need vegetables and people like that it’s a healthy thing.”
They also played songs you know. The students used hollow plastic
tubes called Boomwhackers to play the famous “Axl F” from “Beverly Hills
The Police’s “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” never sounded
better with a full set of marimbas playing it’s notes. And Edgar Winter
Group’s “Frankenstein” was used to accompany Drum Show’s own
“Dancing With the Scars” competition. Whatever the song or how they play
it, Wahlund mentions that Drum Show is all about catching the audience off
“It’s nice to be surprised,” Wahlund explains, “and sometimes that
surprise is a clever whimsical surprise and sometimes it’s a challenging
Every year the drum show invites a guest artist to perform, this year it
was Dr. Gregory Beyer who is an associate professor of percussion at
Northern Illinois University. Beyer dazzled the crowd with his skill on the
“It’s an Afro-Brazilian bow that has African roots,” Beyer explains, “I
started by singing a praise song about an Afro-Brazilian legend called
While the drum show relishes in having unique and original material,
Wahlund’s main goal for his students is something he says is easily heard
but difficult to achieve.
“A simple message we put in front of these kids is quite a powerful one
and, yes, it is simple but hard to do,” says Wahlund, “and that is to give
somebody a better option on a Friday (or) Saturday night than what’s
already out there.”
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