Silver Creek High School
BY KAREY ROBINSON
An evil tribal chieftain on stilts, musicians and dancers in animal skins and face paint, a skull and a whole lot of drums and percussion instruments combined for an exciting and energetic show from the percussion ensemble, or winter drumline.
For the fourth year in a row, the Silver Creek Drumline, directed by Jason Reid, Julian Gonzales, Jake Euler, Dylan Camacho, Elias Euler and Melina Moser, earned the state championship at the Rocky Mountain Percussion Association Championships at the First Bank Center in Broomfield with their show “The Tribe.”
Band director Jay Clanin was proud of the students for what they accomplished, “particularly because of the extra work this group of kids put in to make it happen.” Many strong percussionists graduated last year, and new students needed
to put in long hours and even learn new instruments in order to participate.
The ensemble moved up a class this year at the state competition, which made the field even tougher. “The pressure to meet the expectations of the past three championship years really pushed them,” said Clanin. “The kids, coaches and parents really came together this year to make it happen for the fourth year in a row.”
Members of the ensemble were excited and nervous after delivering their best performance during the finals of the competition. They were in second place after the preliminary competition. Freshman Nicolai Nielsen said that he felt confident that they were going to win, “but I was still nervous because it meant a lot to me to be able to repeat the win from last year.”
“When we were standing waiting for our scores, they waited about 30 seconds between announcing third and second place. That wait was awful. If felt like it took 10 years,” said senior Travis Killeen.
Four senior members of the drumline, Killeen, April Abbey, Robbie McCowan and Sebastian Nielsen have been involved all four years of high school.
Killeen felt more challenged this year than ever before. “I liked being pushed to my limit, to then find a new one, and push that one even further,” he said. Killeen, who is joining the Marines after graduation, is undecided whether he will join the Marine Drum and Bugle Corps.
McCowan, who will attend UNC and hopes to join the marching band there, described his four-year experience. “Our shows have gotten more complex. And we have become a better and better program, but the phrase I would use to describe our ensemble has remained the same. ‘You reap what you sow.’ All four years I have been told that if we work hard, we’ll get what we want, an awesome show. We’re just lucky that the judges agree that the shows are awesome, and keep putting us in first.”
Sebastian Nielsen, also a senior and four-year participant, believes that he has gained a good work ethic through drumline. “Working hard is definitely a great trait you get from this activity,” he said. Nielsen is also a member of the prestigious Blue Knights Drum Corps. Next year he will attend Colorado School of Mines where he plans to double major in engineering physics and applied mathematics.
Group members all say that their favorite part of drumline is the friendships formed during the long hours spent perfecting their performance. “Drumline is definitely a lot of hard work, but in the end it always ends up worth it because of the incredible friendships created through all the time spent together,” said Nielsen.
“The members of the ensemble become like a family,” said Killeen.
McCowan agreed. “You spend enough time together that you do become like brothers and sisters.”
The graduating seniors are positive about the group of percussionists they will leave behind when they graduate. “Our music has become a lot more advanced along with the movement,” said Nielsen. “We’re definitely also starting to get a lot more recognition throughout the activity from our instructors and members of other ensembles.”
FCCLA Students Draw Attention to Domestic Abuse
Students involved in the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America are working together to build awareness at school and in the community about domestic abuse.
“We are volunteering for the Safe Shelter and are in the process of becoming regular active volunteers with them,” said Josie Valadez Fraire, who serves as president of FCCLA. She and her friend Loni Clements are taking a 40-hour training session in order to qualify to volunteer at the shelter.
The girls are also making “1 in 3 bracelets,” purple and lime green braided bracelets which represent the statistic that one in three women will be in an abusive relationship within their lifetimes. They are selling the bracelets to raise money to donate to the Safe Shelter.
“These bracelets are meant to be worn as a visual sign to help raise awareness. Along with that, we made a pledge for people to sign to show that they are aware of the cause and will never partake in abusive behaviors and to demonstrate that they are aware of their self-worth,” said Valadez Fraire.
The two girls have gained a lot more than information for a project from their research and volunteer hours. “This happens so regularly and we don’t recognize it,” said Valadez Fraire. “It’s actually more common than people think.
Statistically, 400 students at our school will begin an abusive relationship. That’s ridiculous,” she said.
They are preparing a project for the FCCLA State competition in the Advocacy category. Along with their volunteer projects, they have researched the topic and met with experts on the subject of domestic abuse.