Pandemic can’t stop the beat of the drums

Percussion section stages Solo Idol on Zoom; 19 soloists vie for the favor of the audience and a nice prize package

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Samantha Powers

‘THREE’ IS THE MAGIC NUMBER: On a night filled with virtual virtuoso solos, Huck Langford’s performance stood out among viewers who voted Langford’s rendition of “Three” by Mike McIntosh to be the Best Drum Solo.

Samantha Powers, news editor

The McCallum percussion department held a Solo Idol event tonight on Zoom in which students competed for prize packages in the following categories: best drum solo, best keyboard solo, best video production, best dressed and most entertaining.

This whole experience of recreating a brand new curriculum and going through it with you guys virtually has been awesome. … I am so confident when we come back and are able to just be in person and rehearse together, we’re going to hit the ground running and be unstoppable.”

— percussion director Matt Ehlers

Each student had an original musicality and production style. Things really heated up when Milo Donmoyer finished an unforgettable solo performance with sticks that were set on fire, much to the entertainment of his audience.

Those in attendance at the Zoom event voted for their picks from each category. The winners were Huck Langford for best drum solo, EJ Leach and Evan Bookout for best keyboard solo, Oliver Harrington for best video production and Donmoyer for most entertaining. The most improved, as voted on by the teachers, were Jack Strub, Thomas Ross and Cate Thoden.

Percussion director Matt Ehlers opted not to name a winner in the best dressed category because the vote was so evenly spread out; instead, he awarded two winners for best keyboard solo because Leach and Bookout both received such a high percentage of the votes in that category.

The winners received gifts from the sponsors of the event, which included Lick Ice Creams, Strait Music, Waterloo Records, El Dorado and P. Terry’s Burger Stand.

“This whole experience of recreating a brand new curriculum and going through it with you guys virtually has been awesome,” Ehlers said. “I’ve learned a lot, especially technology-wise. I’ve also learned a lot musically. We have just addressed so many individual musicianship things. … I am so confident when we come back and are able to just be in person and rehearse together, we’re going to hit the ground running and be unstoppable.”

COMING SOON: Stay tuned to all of our MacJournalism platforms for more detailed multimedia coverage of tonight’s show.