Dream Drummers: Mainland High School prepares to host drumline competition for seventh year
The sound projecting from bass and snare drums inside the Mainland High School Performing Arts Center’s practice room is loud enough for thoughts to be silenced in your head.
But for Band Director Johnny Mims, it’s music to his ears.
The 17 students in Mainland’s “Prodigy” drumline, as they call themselves, practice about twice a week for about an hour and a half to two hours at a time leading up to the competition.
“It’s a great privilege to work with these students,” Mims said. “We have great students here at Mainland High School.”
Since Mainland is the host school, the drumline will not compete on Saturday, but they will perform there as a group, which Mims said will help them prepare to compete in a few upcoming drum competitions at other schools, including on April 21 at Edward Waters College in Jacksonville.
Mims said the drumline is a younger group overall this year, as a lot of students in the drumline graduated last year.
He said at least 1,000 people attended and watched last year’s competition at Mainland.
“To host this event, it shows the level of the program — that you have a very elite program,” Mims said.
As drum practice continued, section leader and senior Cornelius Irvis led the drumline while Mims finished up some business in his office.
“I’m so used to it,” Mims said about the constant pounding of the drums outside his door. “It’s never stopping, from the time I start in the morning, to when I leave, it’s like this nonstop.”
After school and practice, Mims drives home in silence — “no music or anything.”