Drummer beats path to world title PASADENA

August 06, 1993|By John A. Morris | John A. Morris,Staff Writer

Adam Christopher Borkoski, a seventh-grader at Chesapeake Bay Middle School, strapped a 15-pound snare drum to his chest last month, stiffened his back and conquered the world.

A member of the Reisterstown Rockets drum, majorettes and baton corps, Adam, 12, won the national and world open junior division soloist titles at the American Youth on Parade competition in South Bend, Ind.

"I never thought he could win a world title," said his mother, Sophie Borkoski. "But I've always said if it's in your heart, it's in your hands."

Since Adam was 5, there has been little doubt about his heart. From the day he joined the Lake Shore Lionettes he has wanted to pound out rhythms on the drum, he said.

"But I was too small to carry it," he said. So he bided his time as part of the color guard, practicing the drum on the sidelines.

"He'd watch his older brother playing the drums, and he'd want to do it too," Mrs. Borkoski said. "He knew he could do it, but everyone always said he was too small."

Then, Adam met Rick Smith, a drum instructor. Sensing Adam's desire, Mr. Smith fashioned a miniature bass drum for him using parts of other drums, and Adam finally began marching in a drum line with the Lansdowne Diamondettes.

Day by day, Adam improved. Mrs. Borkoski recalled him and his older brother, Ricky, rat-a-tat-tatting through the hallways, along windowsills, furniture. "On anything with a bounce to it," Adam said. His dad's computer table was his favorite surface.

"The hardest adjustment for my husband was never the noise," Mrs. Borkoski said. "It was all the abuse the house took from the drum sticks. For years, he'd say, 'why are there all these dents in the walls?' I don't know if he ever figured it out. I never told him."

Mrs. Borkoski, who runs a day care center in her home, said she enrolled the boys in the Lake Shore Lionettes "so they wouldn't be running the streets." Eventually, the drum corp became a "family affair," with their sister, Heather, 9, twirling the baton.

Each of their bedrooms bulges with two- and three-foot-tall trophies, medals and ribbons from individual and unit competitions. Ricky, who recently enlisted in the Navy and is training in Pensacola, Fla., won the 1990, 1991 and 1992 senior multi-tom championship in the Capital Area Marching Association.

At last month's event in South Bend, Heather placed 19th out of 57 twirlers in the world open competition.

But stardom seems to shine brightest, at least for the moment, on Adam. He already had won the CAMA's 1991 and 1992 junior snare championships when Mr. Smith took him to Indiana.

Now that he has won a solo title, he said he would like to play for a large marching unit competing for a national "show corps" title.

His attention also has started to turn to baseball. He played shortstop this year for the Lake Shore Giants and was chosen for the all-star team.

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