A group of West Virginia University musicians will drum up some thrills before a night of chills as they participate in the third annual Robert C. Byrd High School Drum Expo in Clarksburg on Halloween, Saturday, Oct. 31.

According to George Willis, director of percussion studies in WVU’s School of Music, well over 100 drummers will attend the event.

“There will be eight high school drum lines performing in the exhibition, and I and my graduate assistant, Travis Nestor, will be providing feedback,” Willis said. Participating schools include Robert C. Byrd, Lincoln, Liberty, Bridgeport, South Harrison, Berkeley Springs, Buckhannon-Upshur, and Clay-Battelle.

The WVU fife and drum corps and WVU Drumline will also perform. The Drumline keeps the beat for every performance by the WVU Marching Band.

The feedback provided by the WVU percussion faculty will help the high-school musicians improve their technique and overall musical education. The mass percussion ensemble that will perform at the conclusion of the event, which allows the high school students to perform alongside the WVU ensembles, will offer them a uniquely memorable experience.

“This is the third time we’ve held the event, and it’s grown every year,” said David K. Grubb, a WVU School of Music alum and Robert C. Byrd’s director of bands. The event is a fund-raiser for the school’s band programs, but it’s much more than that, according to Grubb.

“One reason why I think this is such an important event is that it gives the percussion students around the area the opportunity to come together and observe each others performances, as well as the performances of the college-age musicians,” Grubb said. “It also gives them a focal performance that is all about them, one where they shoot as individual performers and as an ensemble to be the best musicians they can be.”

For more information, contact Grubb at 304-326-7229 or dkgrubb@access.k12.wv.us.



CONTACT: David Welsh, WVU College of Creative Arts
304-293-3397; David.Welsh@mail.wvu.edu

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