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WHS Student Selected for National Competitive Drum Tour

Bowen Pennell

    Bowen Pennell 2

By Alyson Anglen (Tiger Web News)

Junior Bowen Pennell was selected by Colts Drum and Bugle Corps out of Dubuque, Iowa, to perform at the national level during their 2018 summer tour. The Colts are a Top Twelve Drum Corps International (DCI) and are a competitive group with only the top percussionists nationwide.

Percussion director for the district and Pennell’s private instructor, Shane Batchelor, said he was able to aide Pennell in his audition process.

“Bowen underwent a rigorous audition process over the span of three months while meeting with the drum corps once a month. The staff evaluated hundreds of auditionees on their marching capabilities, playing skills, and their ability to apply instruction. As a good student of his craft, Bowen demonstrated these skills at the level the staff was looking for, so they offered him a contract to be a member for the 2018 season,” Batchelor said.

Batchelor said Pennell’s abilities shined when the time came for the big audition.

“Bowen is a highly self-driven student, so most of his preparation was done on his own. As it got closer to his audition date, I worked with him on fine-tuning what he had prepared,” Batchelor said.

Pennell has been drumming for as long as he can remember and is planning on going to college for music education, so this opportunity that he has achieved makes it an even more rewarding accomplishment.

Honored and excited, he said he is ready to become a part of such a large corp.

“I will move to Iowa at the end of May. Once there, I will spend a month training and rehearse 16 hours a day learning the show,” Pennell said. “Then, I will tour the country for two months competing with other drum corps. We meet for World Finals in Indianapolis in August and all of the corps will compete for final rankings.”

With Pennell’s now widely known skills and his supporters behind him, the future ahead is looking bright for this upcoming senior. Not only is Pennell getting pushed to prepare for the future, he is pushing others.

“Having Bowen as a member of our percussion community not only pushes me to be a better and harder working teacher, but it also pushes our entire community to be better,” Batchelor said. “We all want to be better musicians and people for each other, and Bowen has set the precedent for the success we should all strive to achieve.”