Nearly 60 drum majors representing 35 World and Open Class corps gathered in Indianapolis this January as part of the 2019 DCI Annual Meetings and Health, Wellness, and Safety Summit.

Workshop sessions gave attending drum majors the opportunity to hone their leadership skills outside the bounds of the competitive summer season.

“This leadership summit is an opportunity to get both the World Class drum majors and Open Class drum majors together in the same place and go through what it’s like to be a drum major,” said Bluecoats alum Graham Hopkins who after attending the leadership summit in 2016 and 2017 returned this year as a mentor and facilitator to this year’s group of drum majors. “To have a convention like this for [corps members] and [to be able to] confide in other drum majors and learn how other people do it in other organizations is crucial and something that definitely shaped me in a positive way.”

With a packed schedule over three days, drum majors had the opportunity to collaborate during a wide variety of informational and interactive sessions. Keynote presentations including “Leading With Influence, Engaging Allies, and Speaking Up When You Witness Non‐Inclusive Behavior” and “Issues, Challenges, And Opportunities in Managing the Mental Side of Drum Corps” were designed to help the young leaders build skills that will aid themselves and subsequently their fellow corps members as they hit the road for their summer seasons as part of the Drum Corps International Tour.

“It’s so important to have that connection and have that support system,” said the Academy’s Sierra Rogers who will kick off her eighth and final season with her corps this summer. “The best part about this activity is that it has this connection with other people, and to be able to help grow that connection among corps is so important.”