Drum Corps International will take its annual winter business meetings online this week, as preparations continue for the 2022 DCI Summer Tour and 50th anniversary celebration.

One of the biggest gatherings of the drum corps community during the off-season, meetings and workshop sessions are designed to allow the DCI Board of Directors and participating corps the opportunity to conduct general business as they prepare and plan for the upcoming summer season.

Originally planned to take place as an in-person event in Indianapolis, meeting organizers made the decision just prior to the New Year to shift the sessions to a “virtual” format in response to the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic and also its vast impact on air travel.

“The safety of our entire drum corps community remains our top priority as we continue to navigate through the ongoing pandemic,” DCI CEO Dan Acheson said. “We’re grateful to all of our meeting attendees and staff members for their flexibility in this last-minute pivot as we continue to look ahead and move forward with the 2022 DCI Tour.”

Meeting attendees, participating in multiple conference tracks, will include leadership of DCI’s World and Open Class corps and SoundSport teams, instructional staff members, drum majors, representatives of DCI’s team of adjudicators, members of the DCI Board of Directors, guest presenters and invited guests.

Sessions will kick off on Wednesday, January 5, with a full-day orientation geared toward new corps directors and administrators.

“We’ve been hosting this orientation for a number of years now,” said Acheson. “The purpose is to set these individuals up from the start for positive and productive interactions with our office. For this initial touchpoint we’ll provide an overview and an inside look into DCI as an association, its logistical and business operations, and basically anything a director, corps board member or corps administrator might find helpful as they begin to immerse themselves into their new roles.”

Meetings on Thursday, January 6 will be for representatives of DCI’s voting membership, focused on recapping highlights of 2021 operations and looking ahead to 2022 – from both a business and competitive standpoint. This will include reports from various groups like the Competition and Performance Advisory Committee and Artistry and Competition Steering Committee.

Friday’s membership meetings will include additional reports from DCI’s Open Class corps, DCI’s director of competition and judge administrator, IN STEP (DCI’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiative), the DCI Membership Affairs Committee, and will conclude with the annual election of representatives to the DCI Board of Directors.

Also beginning on Friday will be sessions for members of the drum corps instructional and creative design community and the kickoff of the annual Drum Major Leadership Summit, an annual gathering of corps member leaders focused on collaborative learning and establishing a unifying leadership approach throughout the activity. 2022’s virtual meetings will serve as a continuation of work done by drum majors to stay connected from home through the pandemic in 2020 and 2021.

Saturday, January 8 will feature compelling guest presentations on a variety of educational topics to joint sessions of the meetings’ various tracks:

  • Justin Johnson, band director at Niles West High School and 2021 Illinois Teacher of the Year recipient, on diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Dr. Julie Hill, assistant professor at La Salle University and member of the Marching Arts Safety and Health network, on teen mental health.
  • Joan Slavin and Leah Gidron, co-founders of EquitAbility, a Chicago-area consulting firm, on best practices for the creation of a respectful organizational culture.


The weekend’s meetings will conclude Sunday, January 9, with the first 2022 meeting of the DCI Board of Directors, as well as the final session of the Drum Major Leadership Summit.