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Drummin’ With the Monkey XIII

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The audience’s heart beat increased with the pace of the drumsticks. Feet began to tap and bodies swayed side to side, unable to resist the rhythm. The show moved gracefully through each song evoking everything from suspense to melancholy- the crowd completely at the mercy of the music. There’s no denying it, the stunning dedication and hard work of Waukee High School’s percussionists has truly made 2016 the year of the monkey.

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Lovell’s lively performance provided an intriguing juxtaposition to the title, Zombietopia, and staging

“Drummin’ with the Monkey” uses percussion instruments to showcase a variety of music, some of which might be unexpected. Take “Zombietopia”, the piece Senior Logan Lovell performed using a steelpan, an instrument often referred to as the sound of the Caribbean. 

Or “County Clare”, an Irish piece with a cheerful rhythm performed by, Evan McDonald, Scott Macarthy, Ty Smith, Joe Frank, Garrett Crowley, and Caleb Borgestad. 

The monkeys brought their already impressive production to a new level utilizing theater lighting and video. This was a key part of Caleb Borgestad and Evan McDonald’s, “Game of the Century”. The two followed the exact moves from Donald Byrne and Bobby Fischer’s famous chess game. The crowd kept their eyes trained on the ceiling, following the projection of the game. 

*Video Provided by Logan Lovell* 

Between songs, the monkeys played videos, most of which they produced themselves. The crowd favorite by far was Marty McDonald’s satirical presidential ad. In which, he promised to get rid of national debt using funds from butter braid sales, make ‘drum speak’ the national language, and build a wall between Waukee and Valley- obviously making Valley pay for it.

The show carried this sense of humor throughout, especially in the song “Tombolo”. It began with sophomore Andrew Fung wandering onto the stage staring curiously at the drums in front of him. As Fung began to tentatively play the instrument he was joined by sophomore Jonathan Francisco, and junior Madison Nastruz. Finally, sophomore Max Wiltse ran onto the stage joining the other three- his comical enthusiasm left them rather annoyed.  

*Video Provided by Logan Lovell* 

The show concluded with a piece from the drumlines Marching Band season, “Starry Night”. Percussionists marched around the stage, like they did in the stadium field earlier this year. There was no lack of beautiful music throughout the night. To listen to more performances look below.

^^ “Googlymo’s Quest For Glory”

^^ “Time Lapse”

This was the thirteenth “Drummin’ with the Monkey” show, and sadly it will be the last for drum instructor Marty McDonald. Tyler Christofferson congratulated him after the final bow, “He has influenced 16 years of percussion students.” They will certainly miss him, in fact one student ran over and gave McDonald a hug. Christofferson continued, “He’s given us so much we want to give him something to remember his last show, so every good drummer needs to have a good pair of drumsticks and I know you have plenty of those, but you don’t have any quite like these.” A huge pair of drumsticks were passed to McDonald, which he promptly held up in an X over his head. McDonald simply said, “It’s been great, it’s been wonderful- that’s all I have to say, thank you very much I love you all.”

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Drummin’ With the Monkey XIII