Royals cut drum line

The Missouri Southern drum line recently had its ‘royal thunder’ stolen.

The group, also known as ‘The Royal Thunder Drum Line’ had been playing for the Kansas City Royals, but due to budget concerns, the organization had to cut the drum line.  

Twenty members make up the drum line.

“When the Royals did the rededication a few years ago, they approached me to put together a massive drum line, with MSSU being one of the groups along,” Brian Fronzaglia, director of percussion studies and athletic bands, said.

The University of Kansas and area high schools played for opening day, initially with the Royals wanting a small group with “more entertaining performances.”  

After an audition, the Royals decided that the MSSU drum line would be the perfect fit.

“The crowd response to the group was unreal every time we were in KC,” Mike Sullivan, alumnus of Southern and former member of the drum line said.

“For a game, people would go out of their way to make sure that we knew they enjoyed what we were doing. It was also mentioned more than a few times that we were better than the team.”

Fronzaglia learned last week that Sept. 21 would be their last game due to monetary concerns from the Royals’ organization.

“The entertainment budget was cut across the board and that we were one of things that they decided they could not support,” he said. “They did indicate that there may be some games in the future that they ask us to come back and perform, but there is nothing set in stone and [cannot] commit to anything until the Royals administration finalize all budgets.”

The main reason for the cut is to ensure that the Royals see a profit this fiscal year. Attendance is expected to drop with the All Star game being held at a different location.

“Honestly, I was surprised that the organization decided to cut the Royal Thunder from their entertainment line up at the K [Kauffman Stadium],” Sullivan said. “The fans loved us.”

Fronzaglia says that the drum line will not be slowing down and is planning to establish new programs that will benefit the students and the Joplin community.