Photo courtesy of Gin Gin Photos

          Having been a sports powerhouse for many years, it came as a shock to the Westfield community that it just so happened to be the marching band that put the Bulldogs on the national stage.

          On October 24, a short video was posted to Tiktok with the caption, “my kid in marching band”. It showcased Kenzie Conner, 12, performing on what appeared to be an anti-gravity drum set. 

          When asked if she had anticipated a reaction, Conner stated, “Not from the internet or the media, but I was hoping it would stir up some excitement locally”. She did not prepare for a mass reaction, but when the views began to climb, Conner knew that things were going to be very different tomorrow at school.

          The video, which is now at 13 million views and counting, put Westfield on the map. The anti-gravity drums known as the gyroscope stirred up the interest of local news, members of the community, and even got the attention of the company, Sour Patch Kids. They commented, “When you gotta go to the moon at 6 but halftime is at 5”. Of all the buzz around Kenzie Conner, the most exciting name to her was that of Tommy Lee. 

          Tommy Lee, a drummer and founder of the band Motley Crue, also has a history in stunt drumming. Impressed by Conner’s skills, Lee took to instagram to commend her and commented, “Yes, another man refusing to play drums the way they were intended to be played!”

          The dazzling performance took around two months of preparation. Although she was well rehearsed and familiar with the machine, Conner did admit to having some nerves: “I was worried it wasn’t going to work!” 

          The gyroscope, although receiving the attention currently, has actually been an idea brewing for many years. Alan Johnson, band director, reported seeing the machine back in 2008 and was waiting for the right time to put it to use. 

          “This show was called ‘Revolution’ and it dealt with spinning things as well as the American Revolution, it seemed like the perfect fit” Johnson stated.

          According to Johnson, all it took was a call to the guy he’d met back in 2008, for him to agree and build the gyroscope for them. Coming in 6 months after its intended arrival, the band worked hard on calibrations, tweaks, and the balance of the machine. Kenzie spent much of the homecoming game making sure everything was ready and in place. “She did an awesome job of learning how to quickly get in and out of it and jump right back in the show” Johnson expressed.

          The band, enjoying their new, unexpected rise to fame thanks to Connor, is continuing to work hard to perfect new music. They pride themselves off of their hardworking mindsets and positive attitudes. 

          “I have no clue what’s up for next year’s show, I honestly had no idea this thing would be such a big deal” Johnson exclaimed.