On a blistering hot final day of June, the Eruption Drum and Bugle Corps gave a fabulous performance at Peninsula High School’s Roy Anderson Field in front of bleachers packed with excited admirers. It was a moving experience, culminating in a prolonged standing ovation.
The next day, Eruption was on its way to McMinnville, Oregon, to perform on July 2. On July 3, it put on a show in Renton. On Independence Day, Eruption showed its stuff in Seaside, Oregon, and, immediately headed for Pasco, where it gave another demonstration of its expertise July 6. All this came after three weeks of daily practice beginning at 7 a.m., lights out at 11:30 p.m.
Exhausting? You bet. But not one of the members of the group, ranging in age from 14 to 21, gave up.
“I’m here,” said PHS junior Nicholas Hilley, “to be a great player and to be as good as my dad and my older brother and to show everyone who’s boss.” Lydia Bill, a PHS graduate who’s now a student at Pacific Lutheran University, said, “I’m here because I loved marching band in high school and wanted to experience it at a higher, more professional level. Eruption has taught me about leadership, respect, determination and pride.”
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Tahoma High 2015 graduate Cathleen Van Buren wanted “to learn more and perform again with my instructor of three years, Thomas Conway.” Bonney Lake High 2014 graduate Brandon Seth Mackley “joined Eruption because music is my life. I grew up tapping on my chest. This is the time of my life.” PHS 2015 graduate Serenity Rae Moberg loves “color guard and doing crazy things.” For classmate Geoffrey Hughes, “Music is an art form, and I’m trying to keep it alive.” New tenor drummer Isac Fousto said he “was delighted not to have to put on a 65-pound drum.”
Pierce College student Isaac Fausto said, “I enjoy the program, community, and people but most of all I enjoy drumming.”
PHS graduate P.J. Hiller is with Eruption “to further my skills in percussion and to have memories of my band family for years to come.”
Marimba player Rhonda Salsberg, of Jackson High in Mill Creek, is with Eruption “to try something new. We don’t have marching band at my high school and I wanted to get a taste of it. The dues are affordable, and we’ve had fun. We’re creating something cool here.”
Said PHS senior-to-be Ian Callen, “I wanted to grow as a person and musician; I wanted a challenge.” North Mason High student Sarah Palada is “a vibraphone player. This is my second year of being a part of this program. Neat things about it are performing music with other people and how much I’ve seen accomplished here.”
Gig Harbor High freshman Nicholas Unger, 14, is the youngest Eruption member. He plays timpani and is “here for more experience with my musical skills and to have fun working with others.” Vibraphonist Nick Hytreh, of Auburn Mountainview High, “wanted to know what it was like to be in a really serious marching band. This exposure is not like any other I’ve had and I’m very glad to have acquired this experience.”
Eruption, started by Ryan Mclain as a free afterschool percussion ensemble at PHS in 2013 with 12 members, now has 56 members, a brass section and a color guard. A nonprofit youth performance group, its mission is to provide quality education and a positive environment for students to show their skills in marching music arts.
For information, contact Ryan McLain at 253-592-1858 or by email at McLainrs@yahoo.com.