Senior Ian Perry Accepted into The Academy of Drum and Bugle Corps


Credit to Te’a Tonnsen

Senior Ian Perry plays his trumpet. Perry was accepted into a drum corps in January. “My first thought when I saw I was accepted was just wow,” Perry said.

By Gracie Bowman

Ian Perry stands in a gym, the fluorescent lights creating a glare on the floor below him. He takes a deep breath as his eyes dart around, seeing people scattered, holding instruments and sheet music. His ears fill with the familiar tune that he’s been practicing for weeks now. He pulls his trumpet up to his lips with a smile, and he joins in with the rest of the drums and brass instruments around him.

Band member Ian Perry was accepted into The Academy of Drum and Bugle Corps on Jan. 7. A drum corps is a nonprofit, professional marching band. The organization tours during the summer and regularly broadcasts live performances and events.

“When you’re standing in the gym, playing together, it’s almost difficult to put it in words,” Perry said. “It’s an amazing feeling being around so many people with so much talent.”

Perry attended a camp in Tempe, Arizona, in January to audition. At the camp, the musicians were treated as if they were on the team already. Musicians learned the music, and the instructors sometimes pulled them out of rooms and asked them to perform for them, noting how the musicians reacted to the staff’s criticism. Staff members pulled Perry and other trumpeters from a group and offered them contracts.

“I was really excited,” Perry said. “I was jumping up and down with a bunch of people I met just this week. It’s an amazing feeling because you’re surrounded by talented people who all have the same goal.”

Perry will move to Arizona May 25 for two months to prepare. After spring training, he will live on tour buses and get to know the other people in the band. They will perform and compete around the U.S. and even compete in the drum corps championships in Indianapolis. Perry will attend finals, return home, and start college soon after.

“I think it’s a really great achievement,” band director Robert Stegeman said. “My biggest goal is that these kids continue with their musical careers past high school and that they pass on that drive to inspire kids. I think Ian fits that group. The fact that he continued to work at it, and got it is really cool.”