Little big man in the ESH band
by Rory Doyle
Feb 07, 2013 | 2391 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Darrius Davis, 6, is making a name for himself by playing with the East Side Marching Band at games and parades. The young talent received a toy drum for his fifth birthday and has been matching the beat ever since.
Darrius Davis, 6, is making a name for himself by playing with the East Side Marching Band at games and parades. The young talent received a toy drum for his fifth birthday and has been matching the beat ever since.
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One Cleveland six-year-old truly does march to the beat of his own drum.

Attend any East Side High School football game — home or away — or any parade with the East Side Marching Band and you will be treated with the beats of young Darrius Davis.

The kindergartner from Nailor Elementary has become a "small" celebrity as he marches in his black and gold sweat suit alongside high schoolers.

Davis, only three-and-a-half feet tall and very soft-spoken, uses his drum, marching skills and dancing abilities to do most of the talking.

"I do it because I love my drum and I like music," said Davis. "It feels good when I play. I know I'm going to be a drummer."

The young talent has been showing up to watch the Trojans play for a few years, but his eyes have always seemed to focus on the band instead of the field.

Davis received a toy plastic drum for his fifth birthday and he's been tagging along with the crew ever since.

He has marched in six parades, from start to finish, and also played side-by-side with the band during the Trojan's 15-game 2012 season.

"I don't get tired — I keep on going," said Davis. "It's just fun."

Davis's mother, Kim, said she's proud that her son has a strong passion at such a young age.

"Wherever the band is, he'll be right there next to them," said Kim. "The crowds are always amazed to see him out there. He just loves playing.

"He calls his sister all the time to see where the band is going and asks her to find a ride to pick him up."

ESH freshman Laketha Covington, Davis's sister, is a clarinet player in the band.

"I think it's pretty cool that he's already had a peek into his future," said Covington. "He's going to have an advantage with the early start.

"With his generation — he has something positive to look forward to when he grows up."

It's not everyday a six-year-old has the stamina to keep up with the big kids, and that's why band director Marcus Lewis realized he had something special in the making.

"When I first saw him coming out I thought he was another typical kid who likes his drum," said Lewis. "What little boy doesn’t love his drum?

"But then I started watching his sticking and he was right with the beat. That's when I could tell we had a little prodigy on our hands."

Assistant band director Fulton Cherry agreed that Davis has a special gift.

"Not only is he a natural but he's out there playing to the end of the game," said Cherry. "Most of the kids get tired after the third quarter, but not him.

"And the people love him at the parades too. Everybody asks about him and gives him encouragement."

Lewis said Davis's participation has brought the band some statewide notoriety, but Davis comes out as the real winner.

"The best thing about all of this is what it means to him," said Lewis. "I'm pretty sure it's the highlight of his life and he's also been an asset to the program."

Word of little Darrius and his toy drum continues to spread, especially when those who've never seen him spot him at parades and games for the first time.

He will continue to learn and grow and is working his way to his first real drum.

"It means a lot to me to that he's able to do this," said Kim. "He wanted to be in the band even when he was two. He loves it so much."

Davis is also an assistant drummer for St. Peter's Rock Church in Cleveland every Sunday.