Drumline needs to fundraise for nationals

Carl E. Littleberry Jr., Reporter

Bakersfield College’s drumline has again qualified to compete in nationals at Dayton University in Dayton, Ohio. However, the team lacks the necessary funds to make the trip, according to Timothy Heasley, the director of the band at BC.

In order to get the money together, Heasley is doing what he has done every year since the drumline has existed. Fundraising and asking for help from the local community.

The BC drumline never has a specific set time of year when they do their fundraising. Instead, they choose to focus on ways to raise funds year-round, such as having the students volunteer at Rabobank Arena in concession stands.

“The drumline volunteers through the Aramark Company every year,” said Heasley. Due to not having signed a contract for the 2016 year, the BC drumline is missing out on its most lucrative fundraiser. Heasley has been forced to push the program’s lesser endeavors, consisting of selling boxes of chocolates and sending hand-written letters to local companies asking for sponsorships.

Heasley hasn’t let the monetary troubles deter him however, stating, “I believe in us.” His strong belief in his team stems from his cast of coaches who all have experience competing on a drumline at the national level.

“We have a strong set of coaches who have done this before as competitors and as coaches,” says Heasley. “It’s all about the expenses. It costs $30,000 just to send our team to nationals.”

Even with knowing his team has a slim chance at making it to Nationals due to lack of funds, Heasley knows no money will be coming from the school anytime soon. He does not blame the school, saying that neither he nor the school figured the drumline would compete at such a high-level so regularly, “We are a junior college with tens of thousands of students. I can understand that money can be a little stretched,” said Heasley.

He does, however, go on to say that the lack of funds coupled with the distance travelled can give other bigger schools a competitive advantage. Schools like Dayton University and Ohio University or even Miami of Ohio are bigger four-year schools with bigger budgets.

“Most junior colleges deal with these issues when competing nationally,” says Heasley. “However, these kids have made it in the top 12 before, which is crazy impressive, considering hundreds of schools compete.”