Sevier County Teenagers Win Band World Championships

Five local musicians were definitely tooting their horns and banging their drum with excitement when the gold medal was placed around their neck as First Place Champions winning the Division III Drum Corp International (DCI) World Championship on August 11 at the Rose Bowl in Pasedena, CA.

Band Directors Michael Carter from Seymour High School and Anthony Terry from Pigeon Forge High School could not be prouder of their students. Jordan Pitner and Albert Still, Contra, Fallon Whaley, Melaphone and Zac Riblett, Unfonium are students of Mr. Carter. David Scoonover, Bass Drum, is a student of Mr. Terry. David is also instructed by Josh Purvis, Percussion Director at Pigeon Forge High School.

Members of Memphis Sound Drum and Bugle Corp joined the roster of Tennessee’s finest, bringing home this First Place Trophy and Gold Medal by scoring a 90.550 and outscoring thirteen other Corps. They also took away several other prestigious awards from the competition for High Brass, High Percussion, High Visual, Drum Major of the Year and Director of the Year. Recently nicknamed “the musical jewels of the South”, Memphis Sound has definitely lived up to their name.

Jordan, Fallon, David, Zac and Albert auditioned and were selected for their musical excellence to join Memphis Sound. They left Sevier County on June 3 and traveled over 10,000 miles across the nation this summer representing Tennessee in competitions throughout the country and performed to audiences in excess of 250,000 dedicated fans. “These kids make tremendous sacrifices to serve as Tennessee’s only official DCI Drum Corp” said Corp Director, Andre Feagin. “They travel on buses all day and night, sleep on gymnasium floors, eat on the run and practice over twelve hours a day-through sun or rain. These are the hardest working people I have ever met” continued Feagin.

The experience teaches music, discipline and cooperation and expands beyond to teach many life skills that shape young adults to become better members of our society. “These kids have a passion that is unwavering. If our world was filled with more individuals like them, oh my, what a beautiful world it would be” concluded Feagin. Studies have documented that music programs build leaders, better employees, high achievers and goal oriented individuals.

Recently they were honored to meet and perform for Governor Bredesen and Commissioner of Tourism, Susan Whitaker, during a visit to Nashville. The Governor and Commissioner Whitaker shared their pride in the Corp and wished them great success in the competition and looked forward to seeing their first place medal when they return from California. Now a reality, they are making plans to show off both their trophy and their Tennessee pride.

Founded in 2002 to serve the youth of Memphis, Tennessee and the surrounding region, the Corp offers local and area youth, ages 14-21 the opportunity to participate in competitive music performance and marching arts. Students are trained in the fields of brass and percussion performance as well as dance, movement, and precision drill. These young performers achieve a level of marching and musical performance comparable to Olympic athletes and are regarded as the best in their field.

Participation in a drum & bugle corps means more than marching and playing an instrument; it requires students who are physically, mentally and musically strong. Drum Corps is truly the “Sport of Music”.

The goal of Memphis Sound Drum & Bugle Corps is to create an environment where world-class education meets the marching arts. The Corp is currently seeking sponsors and donors to fund the next phase of their tour. A 501c3 not-for-profit organization, the Corp is part of the Memphis Youth Performing Arts Association.

To learn about how you can be a part of the Corps success visit Auditions for the 2008 season will begin in November.

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