Today: Mar 01, 2024

SCSU Blue Steel Drumline strives to make connection between student particpation and the surrounding community

Tamika Alexander – Arts & Entertainment Editor 

With football season started and school spirit on the rise at Southern Connecticut State University, the Blue Steel Drumline continues in its efforts to build a productive and successful program for its students and participants.

“I want to build an education program to pull students in,” said Eric Green, percussion director at Southern Connecticut State University for the past four years.

Green would like participation in the band to open up and grant opportunities to his students like the opportunity was presented to him, he said.

PHOTO COURTESY | Eric Green
The SCSU Blue Steel Drumline practicing for its performace at the DCI competition this summer.

“While I was the assistant band director at Hillhouse High School, I was presented with the opportunity to become the percussion director here by the head of the music department,” he said. “And we’ve been doing good ever since.”

The university’s drumline practices every Monday and Wednesday for three hours in order for the students to perfect their crafts, said Green who has been playing the drums since he was nine.

Tyrell Reid, participant in Blue Steel drumline and percussionist since the 7th grade, said, “Depending on what’s needed determines how practice will go, because there are sectionals. It’s a lot because you can’t always practice together. It’s almost like a full-time job.”

Although being a drummer is like working a job, some students are a part of the program for different reasons, he said.

“Some people join because they are on a scholarship and aren’t music majors,” he said. “And others because they hope to help other people. That’s the reason why I do it.”

Many students at schools in the southern states, said Green, have band scholarships in order to continue on with their musical passions, unlike many students here at Southern Connecticut State University, and that’s one of the reasons why marching bands are such huge phenomena at those universities.

“One of our biggest performances is Homecoming,” said Green. “We’re trying to get involved in the Harmony classic that’s coming up also.”

The Harmony Classic football game took place on Sat. Sept. 15 at 1 p.m. according to the university website.

“Over the summer,” he said, “we opened at the Drum Corps International competition, but we didn’t compete.”

Although the Blue Steel drumline hasn’t done any competitions, the students are trying to prepare for competitions possibly for the spring 2012 semester.

“Aside from preparing for performances and possible competitions, we’re trying to create a program that’ll benefit the students, so they can become better leaders and teachers,” Green said.

Community involvement and participation is a major factor in the organization according to Green.

PHOTO COURTESY | Eric Green
Some of the members of the drumline at the DCI competition this past July.

“What we’re shooting for now,” said Joshua Smith, senior music major, “is trying to spread out to the community and to the New Haven Public School system.”

The Blue Steel Drumline performs at football games, some basketball games and has also marched in a walk for breast cancer.

“If we do what we have to do on our side, people will see the difference,” said Smith in reference to the drumline being a successful and efficient program.

Students benefiting, growing and evolving from their participation in the Blue Steel organization are things Green wants to see.

“I want my students to have fun, have a great experience and become percussion teachers and that’s what New Haven needs. I also want them to gain a good education, and overall a good family atmosphere.”

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