World and Open Class corps members at the 2011
Drum Major Leadership Summit in Indianapolis.
Drum majors of Drum Corps International's World and Open Classes will have the opportunity to gather this weekend as part of DCI's annual winter business meetings in Chicago. Arriving on Friday, Jan. 20, 32 drum majors representing 23 corps will take part in a variety of interactive seminars geared toward learning from one another and developing leadership skills. "As drum majors we face many of the same situations over the summer, and it's invaluable to learn from each others' experiences and share ideas with these people in the same position," third-year Blue Stars drum major Mark Donahue said. "Not only are we learning from some of the 'top dogs' in DCI, but we are also collaborating with each other to share ideas that we can take back and apply in our own corps," said Legends Drum Major Jenna Wojdula who had the opportunity to take part in last January's summit hosted in Indianapolis. "These seminars have helped make me a better listener, speaker and leader." In addition to peer-driven sessions, the drum majors will meet and interact with a variety of individuals including former drum majors, corps directors, DCI personnel and others. Some of the highlights of more than 15 sessions scheduled from Friday evening through the morning of Sunday, Jan. 22 include:
  • "The 4 Disciplines of Execution" led by Kara Alvarez-Calderon, 2004 Phantom Regiment drum major and Jim Jones Leadership Award winner
  • "The Drum Major as a Decision Maker" led by Santa Clara Vanguard Executive Director Jeff Fiedler
  • "Inside the Lines and Outside the Lines – Your Role" led by DCI Contest Director Tony DiCarlo and DCI Director of Events Susan Kuehnhold
  • "The Art of the Interview" led by Dan Potter, host of the DCI Field Pass podcast
Made possible through the support of the DCI Hall of Fame, this is the third consecutive year that DCI's drum majors have been brought together for this multi-day workshop. According to Donahue, meeting during the off-season gives these corps members a unique perspective outside of the competitive lines of the summer season. "The seminar has shown me the people behind the uniforms I see all summer. Getting to know these people—the ambassadors for their corps—I find it impossible not to respect each corps and their unique history and culture," he said. "We become a very close group, and bond in the same manner as you would with your fellow corps members," Wojdula said. "I am very excited to meet all the new incoming drum majors for the season and bring them into the 'family.'" Watch a video recapping the 2011 drum major seminar in Indianapolis.