From a performance on the national stage during next week’s World Series to an upcoming halftime show featuring Dontae Winslow – a trumpet player in Justin Timberlake’s band – music students at Missouri Southern are hitting a high note.
The drumline at Missouri Southern will perform during the first two nights of the World Series, as the Kansas City Royals take on the San Francisco Giants.
The 17 members of the Royal Thunder – which includes current students and alumni – will entertain audiences during tailgate and pre-game activities, as well as during the game itself.
During the Royals’ 2011 season, the group served as the team’s drumline throughout the regular season and during the All-Star Game. Last month, they were invited to perform at Kauffman Stadium for the playoff game versus the Oakland A’s – the team’s first postseason game in nearly 30 years.
“Playing at the Wild Card game was an incredible experience,” said Brian Fronzaglia, interim head of the Music Department and director of athletic bands. “We were asked to play during the American League Championship Series, but that didn’t pan out because of 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. Our students have an opportunity that no other university or program in the world can claim.”
While the drumline will perform during the first two games, Fronzaglia said they have been put on retainer for the entire seven-game series.
Trumpet player Dontae Winslow – who is currently touring with Justin Timberlake’s band for the “20/20 Experience World Tour” – will come to Missouri Southern for a music clinic and to perform with the marching band during the football game versus Pittsburg State University on Saturday, Nov. 1.
The band will perform a medley of Timberlake’s hits, including “Suit & Tie,” “Let the Groove Get In” and “TKO.”
Fronzaglia said he met Winslow at a Timberlake concert in Kansas City in July.
“I told him we were doing a Justin Timberlake halftime show and asked if he’d be interested in coming here to do a master class and perform with us at half time,” he said. “He has a three-week gap in the tour and we worked out the details with his agent.”
Winslow will offer a clinic for Missouri Southern and area high-school musicians on Friday, Oct. 31, and rehearse with the marching band.
The Miners Bowl game versus PSU will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, at Fred G. Hughes Stadium.
In addition to his work with Timberlake, Winslow has performed with artists such as Jill Scott, Christina Aguilera, Lauren Hill, Common and Snoop Dogg. As a producer/songwriter/arranger, he has worked with Jay-Z, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar and Keyshia Cole, among others.
“He’s a very accomplished jazz musician and a phenomenal trumpet player,” said Fronzaglia. “He’s about as well rounded as you can get as a performer. During the clinic, he’ll talk about what it’s like to maintain an active performance schedule while touring with a major artist, how as a musician he’s able to maintain his personal level of performance and how that relates to students as they make the journey into their own professional careers.”