Drumline secures state record with Yamaha


Zach Ewoldt

The UW-W Snare line plays to cheer on the Warhawks at the Homecoming football game on Sat. Oct. 22. The Line plays on Yamaha drums, the company who endorsed them for their level of excellence.

Nicole Aimone, Assistant News Editor

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater drumline recently set a state record with an endorsement from the multinational famous instrument company, Yamaha.

The endorsement means the drumline has portrayed and maintained a level of excellence that puts them on the same level as Division I universities and world class drumlines.

The UW-W drumline is the first Wisconsin school, and one of few Division III schools, to receive an endorsement from Yamaha.

Glenn Hayes, band director, said both UW-W’s drumline and Yamaha will benefit from this endorsement because of the talent that the drumline portrays.

“What Yamaha gets out of it is the fact that they know that we are highly respected in the state, we are the hosts of the state marching band championships, and they see us marching Yamaha,” Hayes said.

The drumlines’ contact with Yamaha began about three years ago, when they needed to purchase new equipment. This summer was when the drumline and percussion section received their new instruments after years of planning with Yamaha.

“We needed new drums desperately, the drums we had previously were functional, but they essentially had 16 seasons on them,” said Toby Wilkinson, associate marching band director. “And I’ve always known Yamaha to be an excellent company.”

Wilkinson said that with how closely the drumline and Yamaha worked, it seemed like the logical next step to receive an endorsement from the company in honor of the work the drumline does.

“We had done so much work and correspondence with them and they were very much interested in having us be one of their endorsees,” Wilkinson said. “It kinda seemed like the logical next step that we would be a Yamaha drumline here. I mean, I’m certainly thankful and appreciative and humbled.”

With the Drumline endorsement, Hayes believes that the rest of the band will continue to work hard to be at a similar performance and achievement level as the drumline.

“Everyone in the band works hard, but the wind players particularly see this as ‘hey this is great let’s make certain that we’re working at the same level,’ Hayes said. “And they are.”

Wilkinson believes that this recognition raises the level of expectation from the rest of the band and will help push them to achieve.  

“For me it adds credibility to the program, and professionalizes it,” Wilkinson said. “I think that for me is the most important thing, it raises the bar of expectation, because the kids are playing on top drawer, top quality equipment. And I think it just in a subconscious way raises the bar of expectation.”

In the future for the Warhawks marching band and drumline, the directors would like to see the students maintain a similar level of excellence that they have achieved now.

“Maintain it. Maintain the endorsement. Maintain the level of pride we have in it, and hopefully continue a very long partnership with Yamaha for years to come,” Wilkinson said.

As of now, the marching band only runs as a fall program and for the near future the band directors would like to keep it that way.

“I think for now, we’ll just keep it at a fall program. I think students would like to do a winter program,” Wilkinson said. “But right now that will be a few years off.”