Danville middle school drum line marching toward success

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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - At Bonner Middle School, students march to the beat of their own drum.

"High step, High step, high step, that's all you have to do, just keep it straight and down," sixth grade teacher Anthony Wheeler tells a student.

The first seven hours of the day - the kids march from class to class. But after school, the gymnasium gets loud.

"We get in there, grab our instruments, and just get to playing," said Omar Farrag, a seventh grade student.

Mr. Wheeler is in charge of Farrag and the other members of the newest club. But he's not the band director, and this is not a band.

Its an HBC or Historically Black College Drum Corp.

"I enjoy playing the drums, I've been playing since I was 3, it keeps me active and in the music," said Wheeler.

Bonner has never had anything like this, so Mr. Wheeler found as many drum sets the band wasn't using--the others, he paid for himself.

"I want you to play loud, ok? Wheeler asks a student.

"Yes sir, I'll play loud," he echoes back.

Many of these kids have no prior drum experience.

"They're becoming a big family and they seem to enjoy it."

Its also helping with their academics. Students involved in the drum corp get math tutoring. Everyday, they improve. Now, they're getting ready for their first big show.

"Get to playing, I mean, just get to work," said Farrag.

"We hope to touch the heart and sole of those people who listen to us," said Wheeler.

The students are hopeful to get more instruments. If you have any percussion instruments the students can use, you are asked to call the school at (434) 799-6446.

If you'd like to see the kids perform you can do so on March 5 at STEAM night, happening at Bonner.