Drumline LIVE Returns to Center for the Arts

Posted: February 24, 2011 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: February 23, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Photo courtesy of Columbia Artists Management Inc.

After a sellout performance at Mason’s Center for the Arts in 2009, Drumline LIVE is back with an enhanced, new show on Sunday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m.

These percussion-driven performances captured the attention of millions with the hit movie “Drumline.” This show, based on the football game halftime tradition at historically black colleges and universities, is packing in audiences across the country.

Featuring a 39-member cast of energetic and flamboyant performers, the production includes an extraordinary roster of musicians and dancers performing to the sounds of Motown, gospel, African rhythms, classic and contemporary R&B and hip-hop and even a number featuring the music of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson.

But the heart of the show is the talented percussionists whose spectacular showdown astounds with its precision and force. Their rhythmic sounds, phenomenal choreography and incredible athleticism amaze audiences of all ages.

Historically black colleges and universities are institutions of higher learning that were established before 1964 with the intention of serving the African-American community. There are currently more than 100 historically black colleges in the United States, located almost exclusively in the Southeast.

The tradition of show-style marching bands began more than 50 years ago at Florida A&M University, which has long been considered the nation’s preeminent black college marching band school.

The bands began in support of college football teams, but the drumline evolved into a sport of its own with characteristic high stepping, funky dance rhythms and a diverse musical repertoire. The Big Southern Classic and the Bayou Classic competitions each draw an audience of roughly 60,000 fans.

A discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier. Pre-performance discussions are sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts.

Tickets are $23, $38 and $46; tickets for youth through grade 12 are half price when the child is accompanied by an adult. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit cfa.gmu.edu.

Write to gazette at gazette@gmu.edu