Music has an amazing way of bringing people together and is known for its inclusivity. United Sound is an outstanding example of this very concept! United Sound is a program that brings special needs students together with peer mentors in the music classroom. This Wednesday, eleven students from Summer Symposium’s Drum Major Institute spent the day with several registered mentors as well as three United Sound musicians getting to know one another, learning new music, playing games, and hanging out with Carolina Crown.

United Sound founder, Julie Duty, introduced DMI participants to the program and shared effective teaching strategies before the new musicians arrived. Then, they worked together to help these students with special needs learn their parts on each of their instruments. They took a break from music for a leadership and team building activity, lunch, and games, before heading to a second music block in the afternoon!

The grand finale came in the afternoon when United Sound headed out to Scheumann Stadium to meet up with the Carolina Crown horn line. Participants got to sit inside the circle while Crown warmed up and played some music from this year’s show. Then United Sound was invited to play along with them. The highlight of the day was seeing the students get this incredible opportunity to play with some of the country’s best young musicians.

They wrapped up the experience by playing games and joining corps members for a food truck dinner. Many Drum Major Institute members expressed that they were grateful for the opportunity to incorporate service and music education into their camp experience. Some are hoping to continue their involvement with the program when the Summer Symposium concludes!

For more information about United Sound or on how to join the cause, visit