RPI drum group sets stage on fire

A few weeks ago, I received a Facebook invitation to the “Things You Miss” event. I opened up the event page, and saw the amazing panoramic of the RPIgnite group center ice at a hockey game. I missed that performance in February, but I knew for sure I was not going to miss it this time. I’ve only been to demonstrations from this amazing drumline group and wanted more.

A group of friends and I went off to the RPI Playhouse this past Saturday afternoon, April 25, to check out the performance and watch our friends up on stage. President of RPIgnite Trent DeVerter ’16 introduced the crowd of students, family members, and all others excited for this concert. First on stage was the Avant Garde Alumni Drumline, a group that was formed several years ago based in Saratoga County, N.Y. Each player dressed with a black shirt and jeans, ready to play. The music that came out of this group was quick and on beat. The center drummer on the “four bongo drum” stared with a flat face into the audience while continuously beating. The group played several one to two minute songs; I cannot recall the beat of each song, but each one was very upbeat.

It was now time for the group with white T-shirts with the unique black and red semicircular design to perform. DeVerter sat center stage while reading The Polytechnic while a beat evolved around him. Despite the entire show missing the dialogue due to technical difficulties, the music that came out of the 16 drummers was phenomenal. They played on their signature trash bins, as well as paint cans, ladders, and chairs. Most times, either one or two of the members would begin, while more people walked onto stage with an object and joined in, maintaining a constant beat.

Each beat was played in a different scenario, one of which I really enjoyed was when Jason Woods ’17 played on a bunch of five gallon buckets and bins that were put together as a drum set. There was much creativity put into each scene. One member of the group was opening and closing a newspaper which provided a unique background beat. The entire show lasted around an hour and a half, and ended ironically with DeVerter opening The Poly for the viewers to see, as there was duct tape spelling out “The End.”

This was my first official time going to an RPIgnite performance, and I’m very excited to go to the next one! There is a lot of talent and creativity in RPI students, and this was surely demonstrated in Saturday’s show.