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Ancient City Ensemble brings beat to Trenton

Have you noticed the sounds of drums coming from southwest Trenton on Saturdays? More than likely you are hearing a very elite group of percussionists.
Laura Beard, with help from her husband Douglas Beard started the Ancient City Ensemble, an indoor percussion ensemble back in 2012. Laura Beard also teaches music at both Gilchrist County elementary schools.
Earlier in her teaching career Beard started indoor percussion groups at both St. Augustine High School and Boca Raton High School. These groups received recognition from the Florida Federation of Color Guard Circuit and South Florida Winter Guard Association.
Laura Beard said, �The creation of these groups was the impetus behind the development of Ancient City Ensemble, an independent competitive indoor percussion group.� The group has earned Championship Finalist, been promoted to open class and is currently entering its seventh season.
Two local Bell High Band students, Natalie Manna and Hailey Burch, are part of this very talented group. When asked about her experience with the percussion ensemble Natalie Manna said, �ACE has brought me new friendships and taught me skills from all different places. It is a fun, high paced environment that can help anyone that wants to learn how to play any instrument in the percussion family or wants to continue their performance skills during or after their high school career.� Another area student who participates is Austin Demko of Newberry High School.
The other members of the ensemble come from all over Florida and surrounding states, some from as far away as Louisiana. They rehearse at the Historic Trenton Gym on the Trenton Elementary School campus or at the Old Gym on the Trenton High School Campus. Mrs. Beard said, �We look forward to having more students participate from Gilchrist County and the Tri-County area in the future.�
Douglas Beard taught the drumlines at the University of Florida and Florida Atlantic University. Mr. Beard assists with the percussion ensemble during rehearsals and competition. Currently the group is rehearsing in preparation for their seventh competitive season which started in January.
Area citizens can hear the group perform at the upcoming Easter Egg Hunt and Ski Show at Fanning Springs State Park on March 24 at 2 p.m.
The Beards have also planned a Friends and Family performance at Trenton High School on April 14, as they prepare for their World Championship trip.
This group is funded solely by the dues paid by the members and fundraisers. They are a nonprofit (501c3) organization and anyone wishing to help sponsor this group can contact Laura Beard at (386) 299-3021.

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