Memphis youth drumline raising funds for competitive battle in August

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 4:05 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis Youth Arts Initiative is getting ready for a battle against Atlanta Drum Academy in Indianapolis at a competition being hosted by Drum Corps International.

“Atlanta is good, but we’re better,” said Cory Travis, the founder and executive director of Memphis Youth Arts Initiative. “We have kids from schools all over the city. It helps with their academics. It helps push them and use both sides of their brain.”

For 12-year-old Christopher Scruggs, the drumline has become a positive outlet outside of school.

“I have something to do every day,” Scruggs said. “It feels great. I have my friends playing with me. It feels very great!”

The drumline, made up of teenagers to kids as young as five, practices all year around.

“We teach everybody from scratch,” said Travis. “Our coach, Vernon Martin, does a very good job of teaching them the fundamentals and the basics.”

Their competition in Indianapolis is coming up August 14 and they are looking to raise funds by the August 5 to help offset costs for kids who may not be able to afford to go.

“We’re looking at almost $30,000 to $40,000 in expenses for new drums, uniforms, travel, a bus, hotel. So, we’re just looking for sponsorships, companies, churches, organizations, private donors, everything can help,” said Travis.

While the drumline is working hard to bring home a trophy next month, Travis says participating is about more than just winning.

“We use the arts to pull the children in to make them better leaders for the community,” he stated.

Memphis Youth Arts Initiative has a donation link on their website here. The organization also has a CASHAPP: $MYAI19.

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