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5/2/2018 | TACOMA, Washington
Briggs, a trumpet player and not a drummer, uses the internet as his go-to drumming guide. He has developed a top-notch drumline program that has won numerous awards. The success of the Lincoln Drumline--the only high school drumline in the district--inspired Jason Lee Middle School to start one too.
“We talk about the relationship between hard work, getting better and having fun,” Briggs said. “Each feeds the other.”The formula works, said Hollins, the drumline captain. “We grow and we get better and we’re drumming and we’re making people smile.”Freshman snare Parker Butterfield put it this way: “There are times when we’re bouncing off the walls, but...we do work when we need to.”Lincoln now has two drumline classes—varsity and junior varsity—that enroll a combined 50 students who must audition to join. The drumline performs and competes around the area. It placed first in a recent competition at Sumner High School. The school hosts the annual Lincoln Drumline Invitational Festival. The drumline also performs as part of the school’s marching band, and its members double as the percussion section for the symphonic band.Bass drummer Joseph Simpson has a simple reason for joining the drumline: “I love to put on a show,” the junior said.Sophomore snare Troy Allen loves “going out and battling other drumlines.”But there’s more to the Lincoln Drumline than drumming. “It’s a brotherhood-sisterhood type thing,” Allen said. “We all depend on each other and trust each other to take care of our responsibilities.”Butterfield said Briggs “teaches us how to be a better person through music. He has these words: intensity, integrity and impact. You can apply them to drumming ... and to your life as well.”That’s music to Briggs’ ears.“The culture that we have as a group is what has bred our success and continued growth,” he said. “My job is to use music to teach kids to think and be responsible. Music is a means, and I get to grow kids.”
Tacoma Public Schools is the only district designated an Innovation Zone by Washington State. A leader in implementing innovative schools and programs to meet the diverse needs of every student, every day, TPS serves approximately 30,000 students from preschool to grade 12 and at nearly 5000 employees is one of the largest employers in Tacoma. Learn more...
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