Bethlehem Press

Monday, September 16, 2019
Press photos by Nicholas Rolland“Orbital Drumline” members William Eckert, Colin Perry, Jake Gross, Jack Weikert and Jacob Mello perform at Musikfest Aug. 11. Press photos by Nicholas Rolland“Orbital Drumline” members William Eckert, Colin Perry, Jake Gross, Jack Weikert and Jacob Mello perform at Musikfest Aug. 11.
Orbital members Camryn Cobos and Jacob Mello toss drumsticks back and forth, while playing, during their performance at Musikfest . Orbital members Camryn Cobos and Jacob Mello toss drumsticks back and forth, while playing, during their performance at Musikfest .
Drumline members prepare for their 6:30pm performance. Drumline members prepare for their 6:30pm performance.
Camryn Cobos lets a child practice on her drum during the Orbital Drum Line performance. Camryn Cobos lets a child practice on her drum during the Orbital Drum Line performance.

‘Orbital Drumline’ at Musikfest

Tuesday, August 20, 2019 by Nicholas Rolland Special to the Bethlehem Press in School

Liberty HS alumni, students Jam

Any other time of year, the street between Broad and the Central Moravian Church is known as Main Street. However, during Musikfest, the street becomes a venue named Provident Bank Main Street. It has all the fanfare that Main Street traditionally has plus performing stages for concerts, street vendors, buskers and music as far as the ears can hear. One of the groups performing routinely on Provident Bank Main street this year, was a group of current Liberty HS students and alumni who called themselves the Orbital Drumline.

Orbital didn’t have a stage or even seats for their spectators, but that didn’t matter, because the musicians differed from many of the other bands at the festival. They are a drum line. The same kind of drum line you’d see on a high school football field during halftime or marching in a parade. The Orbital show at Musikfest, however, was all percussion, and they were the center of the crowd.

Orbital played on Main Street, just a few feet from Central Moravian Church. Instead of a stage, the group set up a canopy and under the canopy, they stored all of their audio equipment. The show was designed to be intimate with the only barrier between them and the crowd being the drums they had strapped to themselves. They began their set standing in the middle of Main Street and a large crowd, of all ages, promptly encircled them. The crowd was quickly wooed as the drummers began their routine completely in-sync with each other and the crowd. The group added percussive flare to songs such as “The Chainsmokers,” “Closer,” and Avicii’s “Wake me up” as well as their own unique mashups and compositions.

The band included the crowd into its show. Drumline member Camryn Cobos could be seen letting children in the audience practice on her drums. The show was fast paced and energetic and the crowd cheered after every drum routine. Halfway through their drum show, Jacob Mello and Camryn Cobos faced off 20 feet from each other and began throwing drumsticks back and forth, during the performance, without missing a beat.

During their night time performances, the band outfitted their drums with ornamental lights to add to the aesthetics of the show. The light display made the group stick out to passersby while adding a visual element to the show. The band seemed to attract attention, both night and day.

“It was really cool to come to Musikfest after growing up and imagining myself playing here,” said Jake Gross, “and now I am playing here!”

This year marks the drumline’s second year performing at Musikfest, however, the group does have experience entertaining people in the Lehigh Valley. They have performed at Coca-Cola Park, PPL Center and at the State Theater in Easton in addition to Musikfest.

Jack Weikert, a 2018 Liberty graduate, said the group’s goal is to become professional musicians. The drummers closed out their 2019 Musikfest performance by playing three shows on Sunday night, just a few hours shy of when fireworks would signal the end of another successful year of the festival. The group is already looking forward to Musikfest 2020.