Vocalist earns state gold

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Drum line's first performance 'solid,' director says

By Kevin Koelling, Managing Editor

LEOPOLD - Perry Central High School's Kynslee Roberts earned some gold Saturday morning, then helped her school's drum line make history in the afternoon.

Roberts earned the top rating in state-level Indiana State School Music Association solo-vocalist competition at Perry Meridian High School in Indianapolis. She earned a gold rating at district-level competition to advance to state, and at both levels, performed "Into the Night."

"We're very proud of her," Music Director Rob Cason said Monday. As he did for a story on her district achievement, Cason said Roberts' latest accomplishment came without benefit of a choir program.

"She does all that work on her own," he said.

She was accompanied by pianist Mary Seitz.

Her mother, Liz Lasher, said Roberts then drove 90 minutes to get to the drum-line competition at East Central High School in Brookville, using her cell phone to keep Assistant Music Director James Powell apprised of her progress.

There, "we weren't last," Cason noted about Perry Central's first drum-line contest. The Commodores' score was five points ahead of Northeast Dubois High School and not far behind other groups that have experience with drum lines, he said.

"I'm really happy with how the kids performed," he said, noting some were recruited from non-percussion instruments to stage a show titled "Energy."

"It's really a fun music book with lots of different, interesting textures," he explained. The show includes two synthesizers, an electronic drum set, guitar and bass guitar, and "they're having fun with it," Cason said. "It presents lots of challenges. We haven't used a battery in our marching show for the last two years. The kids are really stepping up and putting all of the parts together. They're doing a pretty good job."

"Battery" refers to a drum line's marching performers, as opposed to the stationary performers, called collectively "the pit."

Cason noted the group has room to improve, and said they may have been over-excited about their first competition. "But overall, it was a solid performance," he said, "and every day and every week, they get better."

They'll perform again at 6:06 p.m. EST Saturday at Corydon Central High School.