Monday, August 2, 2010
Drum Corps International
This wasn't a competition for them, they are just starting to learn their show drill tomorrow, but how inspiring for all the groups of high school musicians that we saw at the Ga. Dome to be able to see these professional class shows right before starting their own fall marching seasons. I saw my first DCI show about fifteen years ago, and the skill level has only grown since then.
These kids are mostly college students, some just out of high school, some even still in high school, but the average age is 19.5. I read in the program that about a third are women. Several of the Corps are all male by long tradition. These incredibly talented "kids" perform 115 shows in the course of summer 2010.
Can you believe that? Atlanta was their 90th show date. They travel across the entire U.S., sleeping on school floors, practicing hours a day, unpaid, in fact, it costs around two thousand dollars to participate. Most raise the money or work for it all year.
It is pretty shocking what is being done to music education programs in the United States. I could blizzard you with facts and figures that prove, not imply, prove, that music education programs produce higher test scores across the board in all subjects, but especially in math. These kids are far less likely to get into trouble, to skip school, etc etc. Teachers know that band students are usually the best students, the most well-rounded and "delightful" that they have.
Seriously, you gotta love these kids.
These to the left are TJ and Connor. TJ plays snare drum, Connor plays drumset. I just love these guys.
Meanwhile, back at the rant, I didn't believe they could make the American education system much worse overall, but every year the government keeps managing. I heard they were going to repeal the mind-raping debacle that is No Child Left Behind. I pray that is true. I taught high school one year, 17 years ago. Yuma High School, Yuma, Arizona.
Please support musical education whenever and wherever you can. Look at the above picture of the Blue Devils. Such imagination and artistry. It's everything still good about our country. Check this one out:
At the end, before awards, all the Drum Corps (which is percussion, brass, and color guard) stand together and play one song together. (oh, all the tickets are sold on one side of the field.) It was Glory, Glory Hallelujah this time. I wish you could have heard it.
Maybe sometime you will. But I can guarantee you these kids will be the ones we want taking care of us and running our country someday.