Drumline brings the world of "show-style" marching bands (popular at traditionally black, Southern colleges) to the big screen for the first time. The story, by Shawn Schepps, was inspired by the high school drumline experiences of executive producer/executive music producer Dallas Austin. Devon (Nick Cannon of Nickelodeon's The Nick Cannon Show) is a Harlem drummer who earns a full scholarship to the fictional Atlanta A&T University. There, his talent gets the attention of the school's embattled musical director, Dr. Lee (Orlando Jones), who puts his students' education and appreciation for musical tradition ahead of the marching band's popularity. Devon's brashly egotistical attitude doesn't endear him to Lee, whose slogan for the band is "One band, one sound," or to the drumline's disciplined captain, Sean (Leonard Roberts, late of TV's Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Devon has more success with the dance captain of the marching band, Laila (Zoe Saldana, who played a ballet dancer in Center Stage), a Southern belle who's won over by Devon's confidence. Sean feels threatened by Devon's talent, and his attitude, so when he learns that Devon can't read music, he uses the information to his advantage. With the band facing their archrival at a huge marching band competition, Dr. Lee has to decide whether to allow the brilliant drummer to perform, despite his attitude. Devon has to prove that he can show his skills while still being part of the team. Drumline was directed by Charles Stone III (Paid in Full), and features cameo appearances by musical artists Blu Cantrell and Petey Pablo.
by Josh Ralske synopsis