Several representatives from the Jersey Surf’s instructional and administrative teams along with both of the corps’ recently-appointed drum majors attended the 2018 Drum Corps International Annual Meeting and Biennial Rules Congress, held January 3rd -6th in Indianapolis, IN.
Every year, delegates from the World and Open Class corps of DCI gather to discuss issues facing the evolving activity. This year’s sessions included a Rules Congress, where proposals and presentations are discussed in caption-specific caucus sessions before advancing to the World Class voting members for final review and ratification or rejection.
One of the proposals approved this year makes the Rules Congress an annual event. This change will provide instructors and designers with increased opportunities to discuss educational issues and will enable implementation of policies to keep pace with the rate of evolution in the drum corps art form.
Along with Executive Director BOB JACOBS, Assistant Corps Director STEPHANIE DUTCHER acted as the official representatives of Jersey Surf in the general sessions of the voting membership, taking part in numerous discussions throughout the weekend. Stephanie cast the corps’ official votes during the rules process.
“The DCI Annual meeting and rules congress provide all of the corps taking part in the Drum Corps International Tour with the opportunity to weigh-in on a variety of topics ranging from business policies to competitive guidelines,” Stephanie commented. “It’s also a great opportunity for professional development for each of the corps managers, corps board members, drum majors and others taking part in a series of discussion groups and educational presentations on a wide variety of subjects.”
Other representatives of the Jersey Surf included TOM KERSHAW, Program Coordinator; CHRISTOPHER LAWLOR, Percussion Arranger and Percussion Director; LINDSEY HARTFELDER, Front Ensemble Director; and GEOFF THOMPSON of the administrative team. Percussion Coordinator RICH KLIMOWICZ was unable to attend due to weather-related flight cancellations.
Participants enjoyed the Annual Meeting as an opportunity to exchange ideas, but the flow of information was not restricted to staff members. The 2018 Annual Meeting coincided with the 2018 Drum Major Seminar for world and open class conductors and student leaders. Drum Majors CONNOR BROWN and DANTE SALINA represented the Surf at the seminar and collaborated with over 50 other drum majors in attendance. “The drum major seminar was a fantastic experience that enabled open communication and the sharing of ideas throughout the entire weekend,” commented Dante. The event included lectures and panel discussions with former drum majors and leaders in the DCI community. Both Brown and Salina felt that their participation in the event enabled them to gained invaluable insights which will help them to lead the corps this season.
“The advice and best practices passed along by drum majors both current and former were truly invaluable. We will take this information back to the corps to ensure that we have our most successful season to date,” Connor said.