Upper Darby Drumline World Champs! - New York News

Upper Darby Drumline Takes World Championship Title

Posted: Updated:
Members of the Upper Darby "Marching Royals" won an international competition over the weekend. Members of the Upper Darby "Marching Royals" won an international competition over the weekend.
UPPER DARBY, Pa -

It's been quite a drought since the Phillies won the World Series back in 2008. So you'll be happy to know one local team is bringing plenty of pride back to our region. The Upper Darby "Marching Royals" won a huge competition over the weekend, and are now drumline world champs. They're hard-working, they're talented, and they're incredibly loyal. Any major league team would be impressed at what it took to pull it off.

Monday morning, the Royals showed Fox 29 what practice might have looked like, at Upper Darby High School. Kyle McKay behind the marimba, Sam Thomas and his buddies playing the drums as they somehow pull off complicated dance steps, while Ryan McElhaney spins magic with his cymbals. 43 high school students altogether, putting on an incredible performance. "It's kind of like a Broadway show that they do, that's thrown into seven minutes on a 60 by 90 tarp with drums and percussion instruments," Jason Majerczak, Upper Darby High School's Indoor Drumline Director, explained to Fox 29.

Indoor drumline doesn't quite have the same cachet as the high school football team. But on this day, the students are stars. "It's really cool," Senior Sam Thomas, a drummer, insisted. "It's really cool walking the halls, seeing everybody recognize that we won." That's because the Marching Royals pulled off the performance of their lives on Saturday, and won the Indoor Drumline World Championship in Ohio. "Just standing there after they announced us winning, it was like just so emotional," said Senior Emily Glackin, a dancer. "We all started crying and cheering." Sam Thomas said it was hard-earned. "We practice way more than any extracurricular activity. And like now we're finally getting the credit for it."

Much deserved credit, because they make it look easy. But it's not. Kyle McKay demonstrated how he plays the marimba. "After a while that really starts to hurt your hands here, as you can see," McKay said, pointing to a large patch on his finger. "Yeah, it's a really big callous, and you get them here on (the palms of) your hands too." Ryan McElhaney agreed that pain sometimes accompanied practice. "Hours and hours, literal blood, sweat and tears. Literal blood, 'cause these can cut you," he added, pointing to his cymbals.

12-hour practice sessions on weekends turned them into family, and made them champions. When their moment arrived, they were ready for their big life lesson. "Really, just that hard work pays off," McKay explained. "And I know it sounds really corny, but it's the truth."

They had a long drive back from Ohio Sunday. But when they arrived in Upper Darby, police and fire escorts awaited them. And so did dozens, if not hundreds, of people, cheering them on. They are the pride of Upper Darby.

You can watch the "Marching Royals" competition on YouTube.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Fatal boat explosion on Long Island

    Fatal boat explosion on Long Island

    Thursday, August 21 2014 11:59 AM EDT2014-08-21 15:59:22 GMT
    Detectives from the Nassau County Homicide Squad are investigating an explosion that destroyed a boat, burned two docks, and killed the boat's owner in Manorhaven on Wednesday afternoon. Two dock workers and two boaters were gassing up a docked 33-foot Carver motor boat just after 2:45 p.m. when an explosion tore through the boat, setting it and the dock on fire, police said. Hogan was reportedly a former NYPD captain.
    Detectives from the Nassau County Homicide Squad are investigating an explosion that destroyed a boat, burned two docks, and killed the boat's owner in Manorhaven on Wednesday afternoon. Two dock workers and two boaters were gassing up a docked 33-foot Carver motor boat just after 2:45 p.m. when an explosion tore through the boat, setting it and the dock on fire, police said. Hogan was reportedly a former NYPD captain.
  • Chokehold attacker targeting victims in Central Park

    Chokehold attacker targeting victims in Central Park

    Thursday, August 21 2014 11:33 AM EDT2014-08-21 15:33:53 GMT
    The NYPD is looking for a tall, violent thug who is attacking victims in Central Park and dragging them to the ground with chokeholds.The latest attack happened about 12:40 a.m. on Wednesday. Police say the 6' 5" attacker started a conversation with a 47-year-old man in the area of 74th St. and East Drive. He then put the victim in a chokehold, dropped him to the ground and stole his bag.
    The NYPD is looking for a tall, violent thug who is attacking victims in Central Park and dragging them to the ground with chokeholds.The latest attack happened about 12:40 a.m. on Wednesday. Police say the 6' 5" attacker started a conversation with a 47-year-old man in the area of 74th St. and East Drive. He then put the victim in a chokehold, dropped him to the ground and stole his bag.
  • Vandal splashes red substance at NYC museum

    Vandal splashes red substance on NYC museum wall

    Thursday, August 21 2014 11:14 AM EDT2014-08-21 15:14:21 GMT
    A vandal has splashed a red substance on a wall at New York City's Whitney Museum of American Art.
    A vandal has splashed a red substance on a wall inside New York City's Whitney Museum of American Art.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices