Have you ever wanted to learn how to play an Instrument?  Do you like to act or dance?  Do you enjoy theatre and the performing arts?  Do you like to play sports and compete?  Have you ever dreamed of performing in front of thousands of fans in stadiums and arenas?

If you answered yes to any of these, the Drum & Bugle Corps may be for you! The Marching Arts combines all of these elements (Music, Dance, Drama, Athletics) into one group activity, while providing once in a lifetime performance and travel opportunities, in an all inclusive environment.

Drum Corps (short for Drum & Bugle Corps) is a professional Marching Band that requires the musicianship of a symphony, combined with the athleticism of a professional sport, mixed with the theatrics of a Broadway production.

About FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps

The FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps is the 1st differently abled Drum & Bugle Corps/Marching Band in the world! The Corps was established in 2010 by Brian Calhoun, a Senior Music Specialist at Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. (FREE) Music & Performing Arts Adult Day Program and Respite Program in Old Bethpage NY, to provide new opportunities to people of all abilities, all across Long Island NY, who are aspiring musicians, dancers, actors and athletes.

The FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps was developed to help program participants achieve their goals and dreams through Music Education, Dance/Color Guard equipment instruction and inclusive community based performance and travel opportunities.   Participation in Drum & Bugle Corps has helped our members grow musically, socially, all while building independence, life skills, job skills, memories and friendships that will last a lifetime.  Members are challenged to be the best they can be, this has led to a great sense of pride and personal achievement for all that have participated.

FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps

The FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps is divided into 4 different sections (Drumline, Front Ensemble, Color Guard, Brass) and also includes Drum Majors.  Today our Corps has over 70 members, ages 20 to 50 plus.  All the members of the Corps have intellectual and developmental disabilities.  The purpose of the Corps is to focus on the members talents and abilities, not their disabilities.

Drumline

A Drumline is a section of a Marching Band or Drum & Bugle Corps comprised of percussionists who play marching drums. Today our Drumline is comprised of 25 participants and is the largest section of the Corps.

Front Ensemble

The Front Ensemble (also called The Pit) is the section of a Marching Band or Drum & Bugle Corps that play stationary percussion and melodic instruments. The Front Ensemble features the widest variety of instruments out of all the sections of the Corps.

Color Guard

The Color Guard is the section of a Marching Band or Drum & Bugle Corps that uses equipment, such as flags, mock rifles, sabers, streamers, batons, along with dance and gymnastics to accompany the music. The Color Guard is the main visual part of the show.

Brass

Brass (The Horn Line) is one of the main melodic sections of a Marching Band or Drum & Bugle Corps. Members play Brass Instruments (Trumpet, Mellophone, French Horn, Baritone/Euphonium, Tuba, Trombone) while marching, dancing and performing drill.

Drum Major

A Drum Major is the leader and conductor of a Marching Band or Drum & Bugle Corps. The Drum Major’s role is a member of the Corps who is responsible for providing commands to the Corps and leads the Corps in parades. The commands may be given either verbally, through hand gestures, using a whistle or baton.

How to join the FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps

The FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps is now holding auditions for open positions in Brass (Trumpet, Baritone), Front Ensemble (Marimba, Vibraphone, Xylophone, Electric/Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar) and Drum Major (Conductor)  No Prior experience required, although it is preferred.

Audition Eligibility Requirements

  1. Must be a HS Graduate or 21 years of age or older
  2. In order to be eligible to audition, one of the following must apply to you. You must live at home with your family and be eligible to receive Respite Services, live in a FREE Residence, or attend a FREE program. Eligibility to audition will be determined on a case by case basis for individuals or participants residing or attending programs in other provider agencies.
  3. Must live on Long Island and be able to travel to and from all Drum & Bugle Corps Respite Rehearsals every Wednesday evening. Rehearsals begin at 4pm and conclude at 6pm.
  4. We cannot accept anyone at this time that needs extra behavioral support or medical support, as we do not have the behavioral support staff, or medical support staff on site during rehearsals and performances that can provide additional assistance.

Previous experience in Drum & Bugle Corps/Marching Band, playing an instrument, dance or gymnastics is not required to audition, although it is preferred.

Volunteer, Internship & Employment

Our Corps is constantly growing and we are always looking for people that have experience in the marching arts to help expand our creative and educational team.   We offer a variety of Volunteer, Internship and Employment opportunities.  We are currently seeking people that have experience in Marching Band, Drum & Bugle Corps, Winter Guard or with teaching Drums, Guitar, Piano, Drumline, Front Ensemble, Color Guard and any Brass or Woodwind instruments.​  Full time and part time Direct Support Professional (DSP) positions are available to work for the Music & Performing Arts Adult Day Program our Corps is affiliated with.

Apply

Book the FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps for your event!

Our Corps actively performs 12 months a year. We customize our performances based on the targeted audience, type of event, size of the performance area and if the event is indoors or outdoors. For larger events that are held in stadiums, arenas and gymnasiums we typically use our entire Corps. For smaller events and more intimate settings such as corporate events and educational seminars, we only use select members from various sections. Our Corps also frequently marches in parades and provides halftime entertainment for sporting events.

We do not require a fee to perform, however a donation is preferred. If you are interested in booking our Corps for your event please contact FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps Director, Brian Calhoun for further information.

Email: BCalhoun01@familyres.org
Phone: (516) 870-1600 Ext. 1801

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