Corps Envoys Attend DCI Annual Meetings in Atlanta
Representatives from The Battalion traveled to Atlanta this past week to attend the DCI Annual Meetings - a series of trainings, workshops, and collaboration sessions designed to advance Drum Corps International and its member organizations.
The proceedings marked several milestones for the corps. After completing a successful year as an affiliate member of DCI's Open Class, The Battalion was unanimously voted in as a full member for 2017. Additionally, Executive Director Dallin Hatch was nominated and voted in as a member of the Open Class Advisory Committee, where he will serve alongside directors from other Open Class corps for two-year term. Hatch said the new role will provide new opportunities to serve.
"It was humbling to feel the support of the advisory community and corps directors during our 3-year launch phase into the Open Class," said Hatch. "Their counsel and guidance was invaluable, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to now pay it forward and serve in this capacity."
The opportunity to send representatives to the DCI Drum Majors Summit, which runs concurrently to the DCI Business Meetings, was another first for the corps. 2017 Drum Major Kylie Lincoln said the summit provided invaluable access to thought leaders and mentors.
"The summit was a gold mine of information," said Lincoln. "From previous drum majors and educators to current drum majors in DCI, so much experience and knowledge was shared. It left us energized and excited to implement what we learned to keep pushing The Battalion onward."
2017 Assistant Drum Major Andy Blomfelt said the opportunity to collaborate in person with leaders from other corps was energizing.
"The weekend was an incredible opportunity to speak with experienced drum majors, corps directors, and other administrators about how to best approach the drum major role in the modern drum corps," said Blomfelt. "We walked away with an incredible amount of information that's going to help us to bring The Battalion to an entirely new level."
Of major interest at the proceedings were the rise of the number of students involved in the Open Class. A total of 2,570 members were part of 25 Open Class groups in 2016, up from 2,251 in 26 corps the year prior. Total Open Class corps membership has grown 58 percent over the last six years. “What we’re seeing in the Open Class is a focus on entertaining programming, really good instruction, quality management and administration of the organizations, and groups that are drawing students from within 50 to maybe 100 miles of home,” said DCI Open Class Coordinator David Eddleman. “Those are some of the leading factors we’re seeing that are drawing students to audition for Open Class corps.”