Battle Mountain High School Drumline continues Birds of Prey World Cup tradition
'Just put on a smile and walk on with it'
When Celeste Landy started teaching at Battle Mountain High School this year, she was surprised to hear she would help lead a World Cup ski racing tradition featuring her students.
Seventeen Huskies make up the Battle Mountain Drumline, helping kick off the Birds of Prey World Cup races at Beaver Creek each year with a performance in front of the crowd.
“It’s been wonderful,” Landy said before heading onto the snow Friday morning. “They told me that this was a tradition that they have, and I was like, ‘Are you serious, you get to play on top of the mountain?’”
She said at the World Cup the drumline performs cadences that the older students teach the younger students, as well as some new tunes.
“They’ve been really excited for it and we’ve been preparing for it all semester,” Landy said, adding they can’t really practice the on-snow part. “That part we kind of go with the flow.”
Huskies senior Mario Alvarez has performed at the Birds of Prey races all four years.
“To be honest, it puts butterflies in my stomach,” he said before performing in front of the international crowd at Beaver Creek. “But then at the same time I look around and this is my family right here, so it makes me happy to be here.”
Being an experienced member of the Battle Mountain Drumline, Alvarez shared some advice for the younger drummers.
“Just put on a smile and walk on with it,” he said.
Keep an eye out for the Battle Mountain Drumline throughout the Birds of Prey weekend.
“They’re a really tight-knit group,” Landy said.
For downvalley humans, it’s pretty cool when elk decide to hunker down around Eagle for the winter. For the elk, it’s more of a lesser-of-two-evils situation.