David Marshall Jr., a student at Somerset Berkley Regional High School, will tour this summer with the nationally ranked Spartans Drum and Bugle Corps. Marshall, who plays baritone, is in his first year performing with the Spartans. In addition to competing with the Spartans, Marshall, a rising senior at SBRHS, has performed for three years with the school’s concert, marching and jazz bands as well as the symphonic wind ensemble and winter percussion ensemble. He also has been selected as one of the 2017-2018 Somerset Berkley Regional High School “Blue Raider” Marching Band drum majors.
The Spartans is one of 48 members of Drum Corps International (DCI) that compete throughout the country each summer, culminating in the finals performed at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, home of the Indianapolis Colts. The Spartans have won five world championships, were the 2015 Bronze Medal winners in Open Class and placed fifth in Open Class in 2016.
“Each year, the Spartans hit the road to take part in national drum and bugle corps competitions, and each year I am more amazed at the talent, commitment and dedication of our young men and women,” said Paul G. LaFlamme, Jr., president of the Spartans. “They work hard starting in November with camps and throughout the spring and summer to honor their commitment and be the best they can be. While other teenagers spend their summers at the beach or at parties, these kids are sweating it out on the field, sleeping in buses or on wooden gym floors, leaving their families and friends for weeks at a time, so that they can compete.”
DCI accepts high school and college students ages 15 to 22. While many of the members participate in their school’s marching band or other ensemble, it is not a prerequisite. Members of the Spartans do not have to live in the New Hampshire area – those members who reside outside of the area can be paired up with volunteer parents who open their homes to Spartans members during the summer. Parents make up a big portion of the Spartans work force, volunteering to travel as chaperones, cooks, tailors and much more.
“Our mission is to be the premier performing arts organization for young people, providing them with education and opportunities to excel, while developing the values of respect, responsibility and commitment,” LaFlamme said.
The Spartans will host experience camps in November and December for anyone interested in learning more or in joining the corps for the 2018 season. There will be openings for brass, percussion and color guard and all are welcome to attend the weekend-long camps, held in Nashua, N.H.
The Spartans held its first performance during the Spartans Friends & Family Day on Sunday, July 2, at Stellos Stadium in Nashua. For more information about the Spartans, including performance schedules and information on joining the Spartans, and tickets to Friends and Family Day cookout, people can visit www.spartansdbc.org.
The Spartans Drum and Bugle Corps is a community-based performing arts program in Nashua, N.H. An independent non-profit organization, not affiliated with any school or government organization, the Spartans is one of the most respected and established drum corps organizations in the U.S. The corps was founded in 1955 as a way to keep at-risk youth off the streets. The Spartans is run by a dedicated group of volunteer parents and a professional teaching staff who work in harmony with all members to create and maintain a proud, responsible youth organization.