Drum corps members typically get hundreds of hours of exercise each summer as they work to learn and perfect their performances. On the morning of the DCI World Championship Finals this August, it will instead be drum corps fans doing the exercising in an effort to support their favorite corps or other musical organization.
The second annual Street Beat 5K will be held on the morning of Saturday, August 8, in downtown Indianapolis. The event is sponsored by Inspire Arts & Music in conjunction with Drum Corps International and Jonnie’s Goodguys. Everyone is eligible to run (or walk), and 50 percent of each entrance fee will go directly to the arts organization specified by the participant.
“In this day and age, when every dollar counts, we’ve got a lot of fans hanging out downtown. We thought, ‘What a great way to give them something to do and support their favorite drum corps,’“ said David Stauffer, the chief organizer of the Street Beat 5K. “The goal is to help drum corps motivate their troops and help them raise a few dollars and have fun throughout the week.”
Even DCI judges got in on the action at the inaugural Street Beat 5K in 2014.
Last year, 350 people participated, representing 41 states and 8 countries. A vast majority of DCI corps were represented by at least one runner, as well as several local organizations such as high school marching bands.
Stauffer noted that, while the primary targets of the campaign are drum corps, local arts organizations are also a priority.
“High schools, marching bands, choirs, any arts or music organization that’s interested--it’s a nice way to show support,” Stauffer said. “These high school arts and music people are the future of drum corps.“
Stauffer predicts around 500 people will run in this year’s event, but there is still time to register and he’s hopeful that number could rise closer to one thousand. Regardless, the number represents significant growth in the young event.
“Some of the corps have clearly embraced this as an opportunity and they have a ton of people registered,” Stauffer said. “It’s growing.”
Participants are encouraged to either run or walk the 3.1-mile course.
Down the road, Stauffer envisions continuing that growth on a much larger scale. In five to 10 years, his goal is to have 5,000 people running in the event. His team is also working on putting together similar events for other DCI Premier Events in cities like Atlanta and San Antonio, though that idea is still in its early stages. And this year, in an effort to motivate fans with bragging rights, a traveling trophy will be awarded to the top-scoring organization.
But Street Beat still wants to cater to local groups. This year, a small local choir will perform at the event. In a few years, Stauffer hopes to see several hours of performances from local ensembles. And ultimately, the event is about donating money to those types of organizations to keep them up and running.
“We’d love to cut checks for thousands of dollars to various groups” Stauffer said. “We’d love to cut checks to people who say, ‘Here, keep arts and music alive ... We want you to survive, we want you to be strong, and we want to give back to local organizations.’”
The second annual Street Beat 5K will begin at 8 a.m. ET on Saturday, August 8 from Military Park in downtown Indianapolis. The registration fee is $35 or $40 if signed up after July 31.