The drumline at Missouri Southern State University will perform during the first two nights of the World Series, as the Royals take on the San Francisco Giants at Kauffman Stadium.
The 17 members of the Royal Thunder, which includes current students and alumni, will perform during tailgate and pre-game activities, as well as during the game itself.
The group previously served as the Royals’ official drumline during the 2011 season and All-Star Game, and it performed last month at the Royals’ first postseason appearance in nearly 30 years.
Brian Fronzaglia, interim head of the music department and director of athletic bands, said playing at the wild-card game was an “incredible experience.” The drumline was subsequently asked to perform during the American League Championship Series, but that didn’t pan out because the university was on fall break.
“The cool thing about this is we were the premiere drumline for the team in 2011, we were the first drumline to play at an All-Star Game, and we’ll be the first to play at the World Series,” Fronzaglia said in a statement. “Our students have an opportunity that no other university or program in the world can claim.”
Bethany Langland, a music education major and cymbal player, said she enjoyed performing at the playoffs — in part because the Royals played so well. She said she’s even more thrilled about playing for fans at the World Series.
“For them to call us and want us to be there is really flattering,” she said Monday just before rehearsal. “And these are the biggest games of postseason. It’s going to be really, really awesome. I’m more excited to play for this than the All-Star Game or any other game.”
For Michael Chilton, a music industry major and bass player, being at the playoffs was exciting because of the Royals’ winning streak and the “supercharged” atmosphere of Kansas City fans. The next few days will be another new set of experiences, he said.
“I’ve never been to the World Series before, so it could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he said.
The Royal Thunder is set to perform during the first two games of the World Series and is on retainer for the entire seven-game series, Fronzaglia said.
Looking ahead to the anticipated annual football game versus Pittsburg State University, the full marching band will perform a halftime show featuring a medley of Justin Timberlake hits alongside trumpet player Dontae Winslow, who is currently with Timberlake’s band for the “20/20 Experience” world tour.
Winslow has also performed with artists such as Jill Scott, Christina Aguilera, Lauryn Hill, Common and Snoop Dogg. As a producer/songwriter/arranger, he has worked with Jay-Z, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar and Keyshia Cole.
“He’s a very accomplished jazz musician and a phenomenal trumpet player,” Fronzaglia said. “He’s about as well-rounded as you can get as a performer.”
Winslow will host a music clinic for Missouri Southern and local high school musicians on Friday, Oct. 31. Fronzaglia said Winslow will discuss how to maintain a performance schedule while touring, how to maintain a high performance level and how students can transition into their professional careers.
The Miners Bowl game against PSU will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, at Fred G. Hughes Stadium. The band’s halftime show will include renditions of Timberlake hits “Suit & Tie,” “Let the Groove Get In” and “TKO.”
Game 1 of the World Series begins at 7 p.m. today and can be seen on Fox.