The Spartans Drum and Bugle Corps teamed up with the Make-A-Wish Foundation last Saturday to make a three-year-old girl’s dream come true.
Sophia, who has been battling a rare disease for two years, was surprised by Make-A-Wish with a trip to Disney World and a special performance by the Spartans’ drum line.
After Sophia’s wish granters learned she enjoys watching marching bands and playing the drums, they contacted the corps to see if they would accompany the ceremony.
“We actually didn’t tell the members about this performance until a few days beforehand just because we were traveling and needed to get all the details figured out,” Spartans director Richard Rigolini said. “But when they finally found out about it, they were very humbled to be asked.”
The members met Sophia and played their street beat for her after she received the news about Disney World on July 9 in Nashua, New Hampshire. One Spartans member said it was one of the greatest experiences he has ever had with the drum corps.
“I feel like this is what [the drum corps experience] is all about,” bass drummer Devam Dhawan said. “It’s not really about competing and the scores. I think it’s about making people feel something. All of us were taken aback that Sophia felt such a strong connection with us and that she wanted us to perform for her.”
Spartans drum line members pose for a photo with their newest fan, Sophia.
In addition to the performance, the members gave Sophia an autographed pair of drum sticks and an official “Spartans Fan Club” T-shirt.
“We took a photo with her and that was a really great moment too,” Dhawan said. “We felt like we had gained another family member.”
Sophia’s celebration, ending with high-fives from the corps’ members and smiles shared by everyone present, is a profound moment that will never be forgotten.
“Everyone gets emotional when they hear the right song that they feel passionate about and I think in moments like these, when it’s an emotional moment already, having something like music can just enhance the experience,” Dhawan said.