Drum Corps International
Firkus, Rochau named 2004 Madison Scouts drum majors

Firkus, Rochau named 2004 Madison Scouts drum majors

by Drum Corps International

From a Madison Scouts press release: Ben Firkus and Dave Rochau will be the Madison Scouts' 2004 drum majors. "The Scouts have a tradition of selecting true leaders to direct the Corps, both on and off the field. These young men fulfill the qualifications that are essential in keeping the Madison Scouts in the forefront of World Class Drum Corps," said Madison Scouts director Sal Salas.

Both young men are veterans of the corps, and have displayed the ability to take initiative within the organization. By naming two drum majors, Salas has extended the range and reach of the position, allowing each of the leaders to experience a wider breadth of responsibility and problem solving. "Given the fraternal nature of the Scouts, the drum majors are less commanding officers than 'first among equals' within the brotherhood. I am delighted that these two men have agreed to fill these roles," Salas said.

Firkus has been involved in the world of marching pageantry since he was in the 8th grade, first appearing as a member of the Peters Township Marching Band in Pennsylvania. Moving to Minnesota in his freshman year of high school, Firkus played trumpet with the nationally recognized Irondale Marching Knights, later becoming drum major in his junior and senior years. Taking full advantage of the extensive music program at Irondale, he played in the winter drum line, concert bands, jazz bands and symphony orchestra. Currently pursuing a degree in music education at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, Firkus is involved in the wind ensemble, jazz ensemble, brass ensemble, trumpet ensemble, St. Croix Valley Orchestra, and the Cascade Avenue Brass Quintet. Firkus maintains staff positions with both the Irondale Marching Knights and the Irondale Winter Drum Line. 2001 marked his debut with the Madison Scouts, on soprano, fulfilling a childhood dream held since he first saw the corps when he was eight years old. Having marched every year since, he will age out in 2004.

Dave Rochau grew up around drum corps. As a child, both of his older siblings were proud members of the Troopers. Following in their footsteps, he familiarized himself with the life of summer tour and intense rehearsals, becoming a member of the Troopers himself at age 15, eventually rising to become section leader of the front percussion ensemble. After two auditions for the Madison Scouts, Rochau was offered the position performing on tympani and marimba for the 2001 season. Since then, he has played an integral part in the Scouts' pit for three years, rising again to the role of section leader in 2003. Rochau is a junior at the University of New Mexico, majoring in exercise physiology. He is the percussion writer and instructor for the Albuquerque, N. M., La Cueva High School Band. Throughout his time in the Madison Scouts, he has come to appreciate the corps' values of loyalty, showmanship, excellence and brotherhood.

"With Madison back again on the world stage," said Salas," it seems appropriate that both of these young leaders embody the qualities and attributes that signal the best the Madison Scouts have to offer."

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