My name is Gabby Kaplan. I grew up in Oceanside, NY and am now a music education major at Kent State University in Ohio. I'm 19, and I've wanted to march drum corps since my junior year of high school. I never thought I would be able to simply because of the area that I lived in and that there weren't many options around, but now that I'm living in Ohio, there are many more options for me, and I've found one that I would like to pursue.
I practiced marching percussion a lot throughout high school (in addition to being on the drumline) and was dead set on playing snare in a corps one day, but when my tendonitis got bad last year, I had to pretty much stop playing drums altogether, which was even harder because I'm in the percussion studio at Kent. Two days before band camp started this year, I picked up the mellophone because I wasn't ready to let my dream die. I picked it up very quickly and improved a lot with it over the past marching band season. I know that with a lot of effort, I can achieve my dream.
I have received a contract from Legends Drum and Bugle Corps to march this summer, but I can only do the musical part on my own. I don't usually like asking people for help when it comes to financial matters, but the truth is, I'm in my 4th semester of college and I already will be leaving with a lot of loan debt. I'm going to need help paying for winter camps and tour fees. Any amount will help, no matter how big or small, but I can't do this alone. The tour fees are actually very cheap considering how much it actually costs to run a touring corps. The fees will pay for my winter camps (There are five but I'm paying for the first one myself), the summer tour, food at camps and all summer, the uniform, the instrument, shoes, gloves, mouthpiece, and corps jacket.
Legends Drum and Bugle Corps is an Open Class corps based out of Kalamazoo, MI. Even though they're a smaller group, they still have a fantastic, award-winning program and a great staff, and they're definitely on the rise. This summer, I will be traveling around the whole country in a bus over 3,000 miles to compete against other award-winning corps, including popular World Class groups such as the Cadets, Phantom Regiment, and the Bluecoats. Instead of playing maybe six or seven local competitions over two and a half months like I used to in high school, I will be performing in at least 15-20 the whole summer all across the country. I will even get to perform in Lucas Oil Stadium where the Indianapolis Colts play! I will be gone from June 8th to August 9th.
It's a big commitment but I'm willing to do it because I know that I'll become a much better brass player, more physically fit, and just a better person in general. Drum corps teaches respect, honor, discipline, integrity, determination, and as my high school band director always used to say, pride, class, and dignity. Not to say that I don't already have those things, but I don't have them right now the way that I will when I return home in August.
Thank you for considering helping me to achieve a life changing experience. I appreciate each and every one of my family, friends, and even strangers who decide to support me.
Here's some videos of the corps performing just to show you what I would be involved with.
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