INDIANAPOLIS — More than 60 drum majors who will lead Open and World Class corps on the upcoming DCI Summer Tour converged on Indianapolis for the 2020 edition of DCI’s Drum Major Leadership Summit January 10-12.
The drum majors took part in a number of sessions over three days, from discussions about leadership philosophies and situational leadership approaches, to educational and interactive team-building activities.
“You’re getting perspectives of people who have a lot of experience, perspectives of somebody who’s a rookie drum major, somebody in Open Class, somebody in World Class,” Carolina Crown drum major Doug Bell said. “And what you find is the ideas are pretty similar across the board.”
Arguably just as critical as the learning experiences and discussions, though, is the networking opportunities provided by this annual event spearheaded by DCI Hall of Fame member Gene Monterastelli. Reasonably speaking, there’s no other time during the year that drum majors from almost every corps are gathered in the same place.
With many built-in and natural social opportunities between meetings and sessions, the drum majors had the chance to build a community with one another ahead of the summer of 2020.
“This weekend is a very unique experience with seeing a drum major from most every corps that falls under the umbrella of Drum Corps International,” Spirit of Atlanta drum major Gretchen Casel said. “Knowing that you have a community behind you and getting to make the connections now that you can carry into the summer … It’s nice to have people who know what you’re going through.”
With the 2020 DCI Tour fast approaching, the summit was the perfect stepping stone to carry those in leadership roles into their summer seasons.
“I still have a lot to learn, which is kind of the most exciting thing,” Bell said. “The more you know, the more that you know that you don’t know. The more you understand the activity, the more you see that you have a lot more to learn.”