This article originally appeared on the Boston Crusaders' Web site: My name is Michael Whitmore, and this summer my drum corps experience is about to drastically change from my previous years. I have been marching with the Boston Crusaders for the past three seasons. I started in 2002 as a 16-year-old tenor drummer, and loving my instrument and drum corps as much as I did, worked diligently for two years to eventually become the tenor line section leader for the 2004 season. I now have been chosen to uphold the position of drum major for the next two years. I am completely overwhelmed with emotion when I think about the fact that I hold the highest leadership position in the group. I am truly honored to take on this responsibility that few have experienced but many respect.

The 2003 Boston Crusaders' tenor line, from left to right: Aaron Woodfin, Geoff Summers, Tom "Tractor" Bureau, Brian Lange, Michael "Stu" Whitmore.
I was first introduced to the Boston Crusaders when I joined my high school band in Biddeford, Maine, in 1999. My drum instructor, Andy Carpenter, the drill designer, Craig Scott, the color guard instructor, Tara Carpenter, and band director, Tom Lizotte, had all either marched and/or taught Boston in the '80s and '90s. This group of people exposed me to the world of marching arts and showed me the potential of creativity when combined with dedication. Now that I am a seasoned veteran of the group, and especially now that I am the drum major, I have a newfound respect for what the Boston Crusaders stand for. Our biggest goal as a drum corps is to provide the membership with all that they need to grow as an individual. At Boston, our staff is interested in each person for who they are, not just what dot they march. We are a proud but humble group with much respect for the other organizations we compete against. It is important to us at Boston that we maintain tradition as we modernize, because we honor all the Boston Crusaders of the past who kept this group alive through the hardest of times. Most of all, at Boston we love each other. The membership, the staff and the volunteers throughout spread the message of love and caring. We are blessed with a family like atmosphere that can only truly be understood when experienced first hand. As a first-year drum major, I am hungry for the season to start so we can begin to build the foundation for the 2005 season. I am eager to meet the first-year members of the group and to start to instill the values of our 65-year-old organization. I look forward to getting to know each and every member and helping them learn from the drum corps what it has taught me throughout the past three years. I want to encourage anyone who has ever admired the Boston Crusaders and ever thought about becoming a member to look into making it happen. All the information needed can be found at What it means to be a Boston Crusader can only truly be experienced by going through the process. It is a process that tests your maturity, your responsibility and your love to march. It is a process that is well worth the time and effort because what you get out of it far outweighs what you put it. This drum corps prides itself on the fact that we provide the most-sound environment for young musicians and guard members to grow as people as well as performers. In fact, each member's internal personal growth throughout the summer is far more important to us than any score or placement. There are a lot of people that do drum corps, and they all have their own reasoning behind it. People come to march Boston because they want to be part of an honest, loving group of people where they can develop relationships that will last lifetimes. We do not measure our success with recap sheets and drum corps chat rooms, our success is the lasting impressions that this drum corps leaves on each member's heart. Michael "Stu" Whitmore
2005 drum major of the Boston Crusaders