Black Star Drum Line to Join Forward Performing Arts

Chris K. Alumni, Events, Madison, News

Forward Performing Arts is pleased to announce that the Black Star Drum Line has agreed to become a performing ensemble managed by Forward Performing Arts and a partner group to the world-renowned Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps.

Black Star Drum Line was formed in 2008 by director and Madison Scouts alumnus Joey B. Banks. Its mission is to provide youth in the Madison community an opportunity for creative expression through the percussive arts.

“We are excited to add the Black Star Drum Line program to our family of performing ensembles,” said Forward Performing Arts Executive Director Chris Komnick. “Joey has developed an incredibly valuable program that is rooted in the Madison community. We see this group as a valuable extension of our mission of music education in the State of Wisconsin.”


Since its inception, the Black Star Drum Line has participated in over 600 performances in the State of Wisconsin and Madison community. The group is the first junior drum line in the NBA, performing as the Milwaukee Bucks Mini Beats during the 2016-17 NBA season. As well, Black Star recently opened for the national touring production of Drum Line at Overture Center’s Overture Hall.

The Black Star Drum Line will first perform as a Forward Performing Arts ensemble at the 2017 Drum Corps International World Championships in the “DrumLine Battle” division on Saturday, August 12th. In addition to performing, the young performers will get to experience firsthand the thrills of the drum corps activity by staying with the Madison Scouts and attending the DCI Semifinals competition in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.

“Black Star is thrilled to be part of the Forward Performing Arts organization,” said Joey Banks, Black Star Director. “The opportunity to expose our membership to the incredible world of drum corps is beyond exciting. Much of what I have developed as core values for this group were learned and refined during my time in the Madison Scouts.”

“We have some very exciting concepts that will be developed over the coming years with Black Star Drum Line.” said Jeff Spanos, Director of Development for Forward Performing Arts. “Joey has a strong vision for the group and we look forward to developing multiple percussion ensembles, a marching arts academy concept, a winter/indoor drumline circuit and more.”

To help underwrite the costs for the Indianapolis trip, Foward Performing Arts has launched the “Race to Indy” campaign. Please consider a donation by clicking here: RACE TO INDY to help provide this group an incredible learning experience.