If you can’t concentrate in class over the next few weeks due to the loud banging on Southfield, don’t be alarmed. It’s just Voltage, the recently formed percussion ensemble.
The group is a fusion of traditional and eclectic drumming styles, founder Edwin Mejia, SEAS ’15, said. Think trash cans, stools, brooms, buckets, bass drums—you name it, they’ll hit it.
“Fall is novelty,” Mejia said. “Spring is battery. Battery is just the high-stress drums. They’re really loud. Novelty is just random things that we play on. That’s how it’s going to be divided.”
Mejia started the group last spring when he decided he wanted a more serious and organized percussion experience similar to the one he had in drum line during his senior year of high school. He recruited friends to join him and began to perform at performances of his a cappella group SHARP and the hip-hop dance group Raw Elementz.
But this year, Voltage is bigger and better. With fresh new members and collaborations with student dance groups in store, Voltage is set for a busy semester.
“We started off with like 10 people, but most of them were seniors,” Mejia said. “By the end of February, they all kind of dropped off, and there were only four of us. We were like, you know what? We should just try to make a small group and build some awareness.”
So Mejia emailed Raw Elementz, which asked Voltage to perform at the group’s spring showcase, Rawcus, where the group got noticed.
“Immediately we added another member ... and she’s our marketing director now,” he said.
This fall, Mejia held auditions for Voltage, adding five members to the group. He’s also considering two other potential members.
“The group is following in the same path as Blue Man Group and Stomp,” Mejia said. “That’s for the fall. In the spring it’ll be more like the drum line you’d have in high school or college.”
The name Voltage comes from the group’s high energy on stage, which Mejia plans to show off in an arrangement of “Teach Me How to Dougie,” set to be played in the spring. He’s also collaborating with Venom Step Team, Columbia Bellydance, and Bhangra.
“It’ll be about the drumming, but it’ll also be about the performance aspect,” he said. “Unless you’re a drummer, you might not appreciate the little things. So we have to put the performance in there.”