This summer, like last, Donnie Dear, 17, of Florence will be part of the Music City Drum and Bugle Corps traveling around the United States performing with the 240-member group that is one of 24 world-class corps. The group will have 22 shows between June 27 and August 11, after their family show on June 23. They reported on Monday, May 28 to begin 12-hour-a-day training.
Dear has liked music since he began playing the piano at age 5. In addition to the piano, he plays the guitar and tuba. He plans to major in music education and minor in worship arts at Belhaven University where he received an almost full band scholarship.
According to his mother, Angie Dear, who volunteers to help feed the band members during the summer, “this is phenomenal experience for him as he prepares to become a band director. He will learn every type of marching imaginable, so he will be able to teach in the future. It’s a dream come true for him.”
As a volunteer for such a large group, Angie has cooked 720 lbs. of hamburger meat at a time. The traveling entourage includes an eighteen-wheeler equipment truck, and eighteen-wheeler food truck and four buses with 60 kids each. With a staff of 37, the group also has two to five parents who volunteer to help out throughout the summer. Angie joined the group June 20 – 24 and will again July 23-29.
Another Florence student has also been involved in this higher level of drum and bugle corps. Cole Smith, who graduated in 2017, played percussion with Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps last year, and is marching with the world-class Spirit of Atlanta Corps this year. Twenty-one is the age limit to participate.
The Music City Drum and Bugle Corps was rated fourth in the open class twenty-fourth in world class in 2017. They are now classified as a world class corps. This year’s show, “Hell On Wheels, The Legend of Casey Jones,” promises to be a great performance. The closest performances will be in Layfayette, Louisiana; Birmingham, Alabama; and Atlanta, Georgia.
Donnie is the son of Angie and Ellis Dear of Florence. They have another son, Walker, who is 13.
For more information or to donate, visit www.musiccitydrumcorps.org.