FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps Founder & Director
The FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps (The World’s 1st Special Needs Drum & Bugle Corps) have been invited to perform at several MAJOR events throughout 2019, including the DCA (Drum Corps Associates) World Championships in Williamsport PA – Labor Day Weekend – August 30th – September 1st. Without your help and support these trips, some of which are once in a lifetime opportunities, would not be possible.
We need your help raising Money to offset our travel and equipment expenses to make history and provide all inclusive performance opportunities for our members. Due to our members additional needs to ensure maximum safety for all trips, our expenses typically exceed that of a typical Marching Band/Drum & Bugle Corps. Travel expenses include hotel, bussing, flights, meals, Nursing/Medical Support, additional Staff support to help make sure our members have proper supervision, safety and additional assistance. This way each participant that attends these trips has everything they need to be as successful and independent as possible.
The FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps provides life changing experiences for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. All of our Corps instruments and travel expenses are made possible exclusively though fundraising efforts, sponsorships, donations and grants.
2019 DCA (Drum Corps Associates) World Championships
The FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps will be making history as the 1st Differently Abled or Special Needs Drum & Bugle Corps to ever perform in exhibition at this world class prestigious event. They are headlining DCA World Championship Finals in STA Stadium on September 1st and have select members competing against some of the best Marching Musician’s and Color Guard members in the world at DCA’s I & E (Independent and Ensemble) competition on August 30th.
At DCA Championships the FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps will also be celebrating their partnership with Tri-Valley Brass, a group of professional Brass musicians from the Tri-State Area who have helped develop the FREE Players Brass Program alongside FREE Players Brass Instructor Kevin Merkel and FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps Director Brian Calhoun. Tri Valley Brass has volunteered and donated their time, instruments and performed with the FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps as honorary “FREE Players” at various events over the past 2 years, to help promote inclusion for people of all abilities in the marching arts.
The FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps & Tri-Valley Brass would like to offer all of the Alumni Corps' an opportunity to give back, pay it forward and perform together as one! We are creating a "super" corps to perform as the closer for the DCA Alumni Spectacular show. Representatives from each Alumni Corps are invited to perform as part of this once in a lifetime performance, featuring some of the best performers in the history of the Drum & Bugle Corps Activity. The performance will take place Sunday, September 1, 2019 in the Williamsport HS Auditorium, in the AM before World Championship Finals.
About FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps
The FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps is the first Differently Abled (Special Needs) Drum & Bugle Corps or “Corps” Style Marching Band to exist in the world.
The Corps was founded in 2010 by Senior Music Specialist, Brian Calhoun and is based out of Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. (FREE) Music & Performing Arts Adult Day Program & Respite Program in Old Bethpage, NY.
Drum Corps is essentially a professional marching band that requires the musicianship of a symphony, combined with the athleticism of a professional sport, mixed with the theatrics of a Broadway show.
The FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps is comprised entirely of members who are Differently Abled (Special Needs), ages 20 to 50 plus, who live all throughout Long Island NY. The Corps currently has 70 members, divided into 4 different sections, Drumline, Front Ensemble, Color Guard, Brass, as well as a Drum Major.
The FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps was developed to help program participants achieve their goals and dreams through Music Education, Dance/Color Guard equipment instruction, inclusive community based performance opportunities, travel opportunities, as well as assist with the further development of program participant’s independence, life skills, job skills, social skills, while implementing successful practices and philosophies utilized in Music Therapy in a fun, creative environment.
The primary goal of the FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps is to provide new opportunities to people of all abilities who are aspiring musicians, dancers, actors and athletes. The FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps strives to break down boundaries, eliminate stigmas and stereotypes by focusing on their member’s talents and abilities, not their disabilities.
Members are challenged to be the best they can be, this has led to a great sense of pride and personal achievement for all that have participated.
Instagram & Twitter: @FREEDrumCorps
Email: [email redacted]
Phone: (516) 870-1600 ext. 1801
About DCA (Drum Corps Associates)
Founded in 1964
Drum Corps Associates has provided tens of thousands of individuals with music education and performance opportunities throughout the United States and internationally. As the nation's oldest continuously operating drum corps circuit, DCA corps continue to entertain and excite audiences everywhere.
Drum Corps Associates (DCA) is a governing body for modern all-age, drum and bugle corps in North America. DCA sanctions competitions, certifies adjudicators, maintains and enforces rules of competition, and sponsors an annual World Championship during Labor Day weekend.
DCA is viewed as a counterpart to Drum Corps International (DCI), which governs junior drum corps in North AmericaDCA members are referred to as "all-age corps" in contrast to the "junior corps" of DCI who limit participants to a maximum 22 years of age. DCA has no such age restriction. The Two organizations are strong strategic partners.
- Maria Sierra
- Kristine Molmen
- Edmond Curtis
- Don Carlson
- Edward Johnson
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