Drum Corps International (DCI) has been called “Marching Music’s Major League.” DCI is a non-profit organization dedicated to producing events for the world’s most elite and exclusive marching ensembles for student musicians and performers. DCI helps organize and fund various drum corps across the country to help train and educate young people to become better musicians and better people. DCI is to the marching arts like the NFL is to football – without it, football teams would still exist, but the NFL is what brings them all together.
My name is Hudson Crowe, and I have had the opportunity to be apart of two different drum corps for two different summers. I marched in Spirit of Atlanta’s front ensemble in 2018, and in Jersey Surf’s drumline for 2019. Out of my love and care for this activity, I wanted to bring attention to it as it has been going through some very rough times in the past year.
All drum corps across the nation are non-profit organizations that produce the most elite marching ensembles to compete and perform at an international level. This means perspective members are required to go through a rigorous and extremely competitive audition process, competing with the pest players and performers from around the world. If a member is contracted, they spend three months over the summer rehearsing up to 14 hours a day, living, eating, and sleeping inside of high schools, and touring on a bus across the country along with the 150 other members and staff.
This activity has brought myself and hundreds of thousands of other musicians a once in a lifetime opportunity, world-class education, and friends and experiences that they will never forget, and has been a huge part in shaping my youth. As most corps are non-profits, they rely heavily on volunteer work. Now that a global pandemic has made jobs scarce, lots of these corps are facing the potential of folding, and no longer being able to operate. This would mean that musicians from all across the globe would be losing an incredible once in a lifetime opportunity to learn, perform, and have fun. By going to www.dci.org you can go to the #MarchOn 2021 link to donate to DCI, or to any corps of your choosing. By donating, you will help support thousands of musicians and performers achieve their dreams.