OHIO VALLEY — Two area residents returned to southeast Ohio this week on their way to their next touring stop as they play with Music City Drum and Bugle Corps International, a traveling group of musicians often referred to as a “professional marching band” according to members.
Gallia Academy High School alumnus of the Class of 2017 Addison Stanley and Meigs High School student of the Class of 2019 Noah Anderson play snare drum and trumpet respectively as part of the group while it tours 13,000 miles across the country during the summer of 2018, performing and competing against other corps groups. According to Addison’s mother, Amy Stanley, the group has traveled as far west as San Antonio, Texas.
The corps is based out of Nashville, Tenn., and consists of around 150 members, including brass and percussion musicians along with performing color guard members. Students ranging from the ages of 16 through 21 make up the group’s membership.
“We’re one of DCI’s (Drum Corps International) world class drum corps,” said Music City Drum Major Jeremiah Wooten. “We’re from all over the United States. We’re like a professional marching band, as some would describe us.”
Music City tours with its 2018 production Hell on Wheels: The Final Journey of Casey Jones. The group has been named a fan favorite twice in recent performances.
According to the group’s website, around 400 students audition for the privilege of joining the group each year. DCI is an organization which governs drum corps from across the US and Canada. Music City is just one corps within DCI’s many.
“When the corps is on tour traveling the country, they’ll go from performance site to performance site,” said Gallia Academy High School Band Director John Barrett. “They performed in Dayton a few nights ago and are on their way to Allentown, Pennsylvania, (to compete in a show Friday) and this was kind of a halfway point and they needed a rehearsal spot. So we were more than happy to open our facilities to have them rehearse here. It’s great to have them come and stay at these schools because our kids get to come and watch and see how these professional groups rehearse and the commitment they have.”
“The experience teaches you to be self-disciplined and gets you out of your shell,” said Addison. “It helped me as a person and being here (at GAHS) is kind of nostalgic for me. There have been drum corps here before. This is where I saw my first drum corps in 2013 and saw my buddy rehearse in 2015 and I wanted to do the same. Being able to do that, it makes me feel kind of like a celebrity but it’s nice coming back and showing people what I’ve been doing and what we can do.”
“It gives me expression,” said Anderson of music and the group. “It’s a higher level of competition I’ve never been used to. It’s been a task to adapt to that. As a rookie, I come from going to competitions every Saturday. Coming into this, we nearly have them every two or three days, sometimes every day.”
Both said the corps afforded them the opportunity to attend big shows and compete among other world class corps.
“People are watching us and it’s cool to see that people are getting on the fanbase,” said the pair.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.