Later this week a group of 150 young adults will arrive to the beautiful Ball State University campus to join our 1700+ participants for what will be one of the coolest experiences offered at Summer Symposium. This group hails from Fort Mill, South Carolina and is the world-renown Carolina Crown Drum & Bugle Corps.

With the Drum Corps International season underway, we are very grateful for Carolina Crown to be able to stop at camp for a few days in the middle of their national tour. Starting on Wednesday, they will be working with the Marching Band, Color Guard, Percussion, and Directors divisions. The corps’ staff will be holding clinics for each division, which will include numerous “show and tell” opportunities by the corps’ members that feature sections of their 2016 field production.

In addition to the clinics, Carolina Crown will perform a special encore with the Marching Band division at the conclusion of the DCI Central Indiana show on Friday, July 1. Following competitive performances by Crown and seven other drum corps, Marching Band students will take the field with Crown to perform a segment from their 2016 program “Relentless.” The performance will be an unforgettable experience for these students who will get to share the field with a world champion drum corps.

But the coolest part of the Carolina Crown performance and DCI Central Indiana show is that the positively life-changing experiences extend beyond the Marching Band and MFA Summer Symposium students. Many drum corps members circle the date of this show months in advance as a performance to look forward to. The excitement and electricity that the students bring to the audience creates an atmosphere that is unlike any other that the performing members will experience that season.

I myself performed at the show all three years I was a member of the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps and distinctively remember all three performances. I asked many of my friends who were former drum corps members (either as performing in the show or being apart of a corps-in-residence) to share their thoughts, written below:

“From a performance standpoint it’s one of the loudest shows all summer. In 2005 the Cavaliers were the corps in residence, and I loved talked with the student campers about the drum corps experience and encouraging them to work hard at their own programs to create a wonderful music experience.” –Brian, Baritone, The Cavaliers

“The greatest thing for me about that program was having those kids on my podium. It was such a cool experience to interact with them on water breaks and talk about the show and the things I’m thinking about.” –Preston, Drum Major, Carolina Crown

“Although some of the clinics were harder than others (for example, multiple back-to-back production runs of each movement) the moments where we were able to interact with the campers completely made up for it. The best part of it all? For two consecutive years, students that we met the season before auditioned and received a spot in the following year’s hornline. These individuals were two of the nicest and hardest working members that I ever had the pleasure to perform with. Because of the MFA Summer Symposium, I made two lifelong friends.”  -Tim, Mellophone, Carolina Crown

These are just a few of the positive experiences shared by past performers of the DCI Central Indiana show, but there are likely hundreds more untold. These stories prove that the MFSA Summer Symposium’s positively life-changing experiences extend far beyond the participating students to the young men and women that bring the thrilling drum corps performances to life.