New drumline Quad City Community Cadence to empower local kids, teens

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Sneaker squeaks, basketball thuds and drums? There's a new sound coming out of Beyond the Baseline, and it's not more sports. It's the Quad City Community Cadence.

Quad City Community Cadence, or QC3, is a drumline designed to empower children and teens in the community with new skills and leadership opportunities. The first auditions were in November, but not many kids showed up.

"Right now we have 3 consistently that come every practice," Jamie Stevens, director of QC3, said. "I’d like to have at least 18 so that way we would have a full crew so full bass line, full snare line, cymbals, the whole shabang."

Stevens grew up in Detroit playing the drums. She had a rocky home life and was homeless at one point.

"I was struggling, it was a very difficult time," Stevens said. "I didn’t really have a family to go to."

She turned to her drumline for support, eventually making it through high school and college.

"If it wasn't for drumline, I wouldn’t have been able to graduate high school, I wouldn’t have gone to college," Stevens said.

She also met her fiance, Lamar Anderson, through drumline. He helps run QC3, putting the drums together and working the tech and some of the logistics.

When they moved to Davenport, they saw there was already a community drumline in Rock Island. QC Metro, or Metro Youth, has existed for years and performs often at sporting events and parades. However, Stevens said she's not trying to compete with them.

"I was actually inspired by the Quad City drill team that’s on the Illinois side," Stevens said. "We have kids that maybe can’t drive across the bridge to get to practice. It’s about time to have one on this side of the river."

Stevens said students don't have to know how to play music when they come to tryouts. Although it helps, she's looking for enthusiasm and ability to learn rhythms and patterns.

There's also no cost for the parents for equipment. QC3 provides music, drums, practice pads and more. All they're asking for is a desire to be there.

"We’re asking for commitment and also for pay it forward kind of vibe," Stevens said. 

She's hoping that all of this will make QC3 a force for positivity in the community, like the kind she experienced growing up.

QC3 is holding another round of auditions on Jan. 3 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Beyond the Baseline in Davenport. Anyone from the area is welcome. Kids ages 9 through 17 are eligible.

Read: Quad City non-profit drumline seeks to combat juvenile delinquency

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