Archive for Wednesday, May 5, 2004

THS junior drums his way into Renaissance Festival

May 5, 2004

Andy Koontz has been hanging out with royalty.

It's an act he plans to continue.

Andy, a junior at Tonganoxie High School, will play the role of Nicholas Hyde, the king's drummer, during the 2004 Renaissance Festival.

The medieval festival is held weekends in Bonner Springs. This year's dates run from Sept. 4 through Oct. 17.

Andy, who is a drummer at THS, found being a royal drummer entails more than just drumming. For instance, when he auditioned, Andy said, he was told to improvise a scene with the king and work the drumming into it.

"I was nervous," Andy said. "They told me I was supposed to say 'Your majesty,' but that was it."

It was the THS madrigal dinner that inspired Andy to try out for the Renaissance Festival role. For the past two years, the vocal music department has orchestrated a combined Renaissance-style dinner and evening of music.

Andy has already started attending rehearsals, which are held Tuesday nights in Kansas City, Kan., and Wednesday nights in Platte Woods, Mo. Beginning in June, he will join rehearsals every weekend at the festival site in Bonner Springs.

From Joel Nido, Tonganoxie senior who two years ago played the role of Puck at the Renaissance Festival, Andy said he learned he'll have busy months ahead.

"Joel said my summer is shot," Andy said.

He noted rehearsals will be held on scattered days throughout the summer, until the festival begins.

And, he's not expecting to pad his bank account for his work.

"I'm an apprentice so I don't get paid," Andy said. "You have to work there for three years before you get paid, depending on what part you get."

Andy's parents are Sandy and Bob Koontz. Sandy, who worked as walking beer salesgirl, dressed in a peasant-type costume, plans to work at the festival again this year.

Andy, who has played drums since the sixth grade, said he's looking forward to the festival.

"I really want to do it," Andy said. "I'm ready to go to the next practice."

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