History of the Phoenix Drumline
The Phoenix Drumline began as the dream of a group of drummers from the Hutchinson High School. At that time, there was no competitive drumline at the high school. The drummers, all members of the Hutchinson High School band, were part of the drum section. This drum section did solo performances during the half-time periods of some of the high school football and basketball games. As the world of competitive drumline was discovered by the drummers, a number of the drummer’s parents requested to work with the school administration and board members to create a competitive drumline activity in the high school. The members of the parent group were: Lowell and Betsy Himle, Steve and Rodi Johnson, Dick and Diane Kuttner, Jim and Mollie Nelson, Marcia (Yetzer) Notermann, Dan and Kathy Scheer, Richard and Diane Wanzek, and Gary and Shirley Wurdell. After a year and a half of meetings, the school board voted not to add a competitive drumline to the slate of extra-curricular activities in the Hutchinson school district.
The parents of the drummers decided to form their own parent group, the Crow River Drumline Association (CRDA) and work to form a community drumline. With the help of a loan from two local businessmen and donations from the community, startup costs for the drum line were provided. The parent group applied to the IRS and the State of Minnesota for non-profit status and for membership in the Minnesota Percussion Association (MPA), the governing body for the competitive drumline system in Minnesota. On March 17, 1993, the CRDA officially became a non-profit corporation. The Phoenix Drumline was a reality! The first competitive season began in January 1994. In February 1994, the CRDA hosted its first local competition, Distant Drums, at Park Elementary School in Hutchinson.