members get set to perform in Washington, D.C.
Approximately 500 people who participated in the Rally for Music Education in Washington D.C. today, June 18, were serenaded by the Glassmen Drum & Bugle Corps as they showed their support for equal access to music education. The rally, part of MENC: The National Association for Music Education's Music Education Week, was held at the U.S. Department of Education and attended by MENC members and students, as well as basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, actress Florence Henderson, Mrs. America 2009 Maureen McDonald and "Funky Winkerbean" cartoonist Tom Batiuk. "It was absolutely an honor for the Glassmen to perform at this event, but even more so, it's incredible for Drum Corps International to be here shoulder to shoulder with MENC working to advance music education," said Glassmen Executive Director Brian Hickman. The Petition for Equal Access to Music Education, which was signed by more than 100,000 people, was presented to Education Secretary Arne Duncan at the rally, followed by a march to Capitol Hill.
more than 100,000 petition signatures collected by MENC.
The stack of petitions was even taller than the 7'2" Abdul-Jabbar, whose interest in music stems from his father who attended the New York performing arts school Juilliard. This was the Glassmen's first stop on their 2009 summer tour. "Over the past couple weeks we've rehearsed and had performances for family and friends, but this was our first time in our new uniforms representing the activity for a very public audience," Hickman said. The Glassmen will make their competitive debut this weekend in Chambersburg, Pa. on Friday. After that they will head back east to Annapolis, Md. for the DCI Salutes America competition, which will be broadcast live for free on the DCI Fan Network, just before 6 p.m. ET this Saturday, June 20. DCI Salutes America will be hosted at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis and will begin with a special performance of the National Anthem by hundreds of students backed up by the brass sections of the competing DCI corps and the U.S. Marines Drum & Bugle Corps. The event marks the culmination of MENC's Music Education Week. Learn more about MENC's Music Education Week. With assistance from Sue Kuehnhold.