Each year the drum corps experience helps in developing life and leadership skills, and these various awards and scholarships aid in the students' return to the classroom after a summer touring with their respective corps.
The Jim Jones Leadership Award is presented to one Open Class and one World Class drum major, selected by a committee of DCI Hall of Fame members. Candidates are chosen based on an interview process and evaluation of conducting skills.
This year's awards were presented at Lucas Oil Stadium during World Championships Week to Gabe Gallegos of the Troopers and Hannah Ortiz of Blue Devils B.
Ortiz, who has been a drum major with Blue Devils B since 2016, is studying music and dance education at California State University, Sacramento.
“I did not expect this at all,” Ortiz said. “I'm just 19 years old and not very experienced in leadership, and I'm still learning. To be recognized like this for the leadership qualities I'm constantly working on is humbling.”
Blue Devils B drum major Hannah Ortiz is presented with the Jim Jones Leadership Award.
Gabe Gallegos is the first corps member from the Troopers to ever receive the Jim Jones award in the 20 years that it has been bestowed upon DCI drum majors. The recognition is particularly notable in that the award is named in honor of the late director of the Casper, Wyoming corps.
“It's an unbelievable feeling being the first Troopers drum major to bring home this honor named after our corps' founder,” Gallegos said.
Gallegos, who is a music business major at Colorado Mesa University, has grown up in the Troopers after joining the corps as a baritone player in 2011. His first year as drum major was in 2015, and he still has one season of eligibility left to march as a member of the corps in 2018.
“For years, Gabe has done a marvelous job guiding the younger kids in the corps,” Troopers director Fred Morris said. “He's been a model citizen as far as drum majors go. How he has matured over the years and taken on the leadership role is incredible.”
Ten additional scholarships were presented at the conclusion of the DCI World Championship Semifinals on August 12 at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Awarded since 2007, the Friends of DCI Scholarship provides educational funding to corps members, helping lessen the financial strain of being unable to hold down a summer job. This year's award winners are Anne Jarrell from Spirit of Atlanta and Amanda Petro from Phantom Regiment.
Phantom Regiment member Amanda Petro receives the Jim Ott Scholarship.
Several scholarships are awarded specifically to students pursuing degrees in music and music education. This year's music ed major recipients of the Richardson's Scholarship included Andrea Conrad from 7th Regiment and Jacob Lythgoe from the Blue Devils. Sean Rees from Carolina Crown received the Fred J. Miller Memorial Music Education Scholarship and Amanda Petro of Phantom Regiment received the Jim Ott Scholarship, which is administered by the California nonprofit organization Sponsors of Musical Enrichment.
Two scholarships named in memory of DCI Hall of Fame members include the Rodney Goodhart Memorial Scholarship, which was presented to Philip John Andrews of Carolina Crown, and the Gary Czapinski Memorial Scholarship, which was awarded to Joseph Tacket of Pioneer.
Administered by the 27th Lancers foundation, the $1,000 George and Patsy Bonfiglio Scholarships went to Nathan Connell from the Blue Knights and Rachel Watson from The Cadets.
Two new scholarships awarded for the first time in 2017 included the Double Beat Scholarship, which is a financial award geared toward percussionists, and the Al Moffatt Memorial Scholarship, which is presented in conjunction with the Zildjian Company and the Moffatt family. Colin Bildfell from The Academy took home the former while Colton Huebel from the Crossmen received the latter.
The Dutch in DCI Scholarship is awarded annually to Netherlands natives who march with DCI drum corps. Hijlco Lankhorst of the Madison Scouts and Boudewijn Lamper from the Crossmen each received $1,000 scholarships as part of the program.