Whitehaven High School ‘FunkAHolics’ to compete in international drumline competition

Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 10:39 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Some of the Bluff City’s youngest and most talented students will compete in an international competition in the coming days.

The Whitehaven High School FunkAHolics are looking to bring their funk and bring home the gold!

The drumline will take their sound to new heights and compete in the Drum Corps International World Championship for the first time ever.

They’ll compete in a winner-take all battle against teams from around the world at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Percussion instructor and Whitehaven drumline alum Vincent Smith, says his students have been preparing for months.

“We have a what we call show-style playing,” said Percussion Instructor Vincent Smith. “Very very high energy. High impact. Heavy sound. Big sound that’s what we pride ourselves on. Not just the technical part of it but that wow factor sound.”

“We have some long days at 4 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., every day Monday through Thursday and will pick up a Friday or Saturday,” said Smith. “Whenever I need them they’re here to do because I understand it’s bigger than us.”

Senior section leader Myles Cole has been in drumline since middle school.

He’s looking forward to competing not just for FunkAHolics, but for the entire community.

“This is something new for us, for our Black community, Whitehaven community,” said Cole. “This is different so it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Sophomore co-section leader Andrea Pilate feels the same way.

She says the FunkAHolics are bringing their funk with them to Ind.

“It’s an exciting moment,” said Pilate. “We’re gonna groove. We’re going to funk our way up in there. That’s just it.”

This competition may be a first for these kids, but their dedication to the craft and their love for their community endures.

“It’s not just this particular group, but the groups before them have set them up to be in this place to be where we are now,” said Smith. “We are reaping the benefits and the fruits of the labor of the guys that came before this group right here.”

The drumline will compete in Ind. August 11 through 13.

You can support them on their social media pages or by donating directly to the drumline by contacting Whitehaven High School.

Of course all of us here at Action News 5 will be cheering them on all the way!

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