Drumline and AFJROTC join forces at Morgan State parade

January 16, 2018

By John Dingzon

Lt. Colonel Jones and Ms. Williams took 35 JROTC students to Morgan State University’s Homecoming Parade on Saturday, October 14.

Patterson High School students had the opportunity to participate in the parade. Other high schools with the program of Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) also participated. Both City and County schools were there.

“The Drumline did really well at Back to School Night, and it was a good way for the City of Baltimore to see that there is a music program here at Patterson, and that is growing, and personally I think the kids did amazing.”, said Ms. Williams, the school’s music teacher.

The AFJROTC looked amazing and it was a great success overall.

“It was a great experience for the kids, because they never got the experience anything like that.”, Ms. Williams explained. “That was my main reason for doing that.

Ms. Williams went on to explain why she decide to join forces with the AFJROTC and the drumline.

“Actually, Technical Sergeant Smith and Lieutenant Colonel Jones asked us to participate because they wanted more representation from Patterson so we could be seen in a bigger and better light, so I think it was a good call”.

This whole plan was mostly a collective effort between Lt. Col. Jones, Technical Sergeant Smith, Ms. Williams, and the drum instructor, Timothy Fletcher.

Mr. Fletcher has been working with the kids since the first week of the school and they have shown progress all the way through.

The drumline first started at Patterson 2 years ago. When Ms. Williams first got here at Patterson they did not really have drums. This is Ms. Williams third year here. She started the drumline during her second year.

Mr. Benton worked hard to make sure there was some equipment for music class and eventually one of Ms. Williams’ classes became a professional drum line class.

One of Ms. Williams big goals last year was to do a show during a homecoming and they did great. This year, Ms. Williams’ goal was to make the drumline shorter and perform all throughout the year and participate in a lot more events. They have already done three events already this school year. Ms. Williams believes that every high school should have some type of music program, whether band or drumline, but the drumline is alright right now.

If you are interested in joining the drumline, please come and participate. If there’s anyone who would like to join, all they have to do is show up for the rehearsal every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Ms. Williams is still looking for more participants and hoping to make it bigger and better throughout the year.

Lt. Col. Jones said, “I thought the drumline was great and that it was a fantastic addition to the event and to the school itself because it caught more attention than just having us march.” Lt. Col Jones said thirty AFJROTC students showed up.

The difference between this year’s parade and last year’s parade was that there were more cadets (students) this year compared to last year. It was also a Saturday event and it wasn’t during school day. It was impressive to see over 40 people march in a Saturday event.

The AFJROTC have done the parade before but have had no more than 6 people to march in the parade. To able to have 40 was just amazing, Lt. Col. Jones said.

The cadets did not do much to prepare except to make sure their uniforms fit properly. Lt. Col. Jones and Technical Sergeant Smith have had to issue uniforms to the cadets a few weeks prior to the parade, but the cadets did not have experience wearing the uniforms properly. Yet even with the lack of experience, they all showed up looking amazing compared to other schools and other units. You could see the difference, Lt. Col Jones said with pride.

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