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TELL CITY - The Tell City High School drum line and its instructors "were hoping for higher placement," at state finals Saturday, according to one of their instructors, Brett Mulzer, but "taking into consideration the short time we had, we were pretty happy."
Tell City finished its drum-line season Saturday with an 11th-place finish in the 17-school competition at Ben Davis High School, Indianapolis.
"Most drum lines start writing their shows in August; we started in November," Mulzer explained. He returned as volunteer drum-line instructor in November, after resigning as assistant band director in May 2008.
One of the judges at the state contest noted "we had one of the hardest music books in our class," Mulzer added. Knowing that and the fact that this year's line had a high percentage of performers who'd never played drums before, "we were pretty amazed at what we accomplished this year," he said.
The students "were pretty disappointed; they thought they'd be in the top five," their instructor said. "But most of the lines that finished in the top five or seven were from the Indianapolis area and have seven or eight staff members with them on a full-time basis. I wanted them to understand that they get shorted; the other lines have more instructors than we have kids in the drum line. I preach that they shouldn't use that as an excuse, but to tough it out."
Making it to state and placing ahead of other lines there despite any disadvantages "shows how good these kids are and the work ethic they have," Mulzer said.
With that season finished, it's time to look ahead to the next marching-band season. Mulzer said a "pretty big recruiting drive" will be launched soon, and he encourages "anyone with any interest at all, especially kids coming into junior high" to sign up.