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Viewfinder: Drummer is marching to her own beat

 

NATCHEZ — Kaylyn Stampley stands with the drum line on the top row of the bleachers holding a stick in each of her hands, a drum strapped to her body and she intently pays attention to the music.

“I’m in that mode until the drum comes off,” said Stampley, 16, a junior at Natchez High School.

Stampley is one of only three girls on the drum line, and she defies the stereotype of a tenor drummer.

“It’s very unusual for a girl to play a drum, especially a tenor drum,” Stampley said. “I haven’t even heard of a girl playing tenor drum except for me and that kind of surprised me.”

Stampley said people questioned whether a girl could play the tenor drum and she even wanted to quit because of some people’s reactions to her as a girl playing the tenor drum, but she had the drive and motivation to stay with the band.

“If I do what I like or love that shouldn’t come along with any stereotypes,” Stampley said. “It toughened me up a lot.”

Stampley said the marching band has become her second family and that the band, her family and her faith have helped her overcome adversity.

“Everyone here I love with my heart and soul,” Stampley said of her fellow band mates. “I would do anything for all of these people here. Most of these kids, we bicker, and we fight like most families would but we always come back. No one is going to break away from the band, we come back here.”

Stampley said she has learned that if you think you can’t do something, pray about it.

“You can’t stop anyone from thinking or saying anything but if you want to do something,” Stampley said, “know nothing in this world is impossible because we have a great God. God will give you everything you need.”

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