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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (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.
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.
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.
Previous experience in Drum & Bugle Corps/Marching Band, playing an instrument, dance or gymnastics is not required to audition, although it is preferred.
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
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.
The FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps provides life changing experiences for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. All of our Corps instruments and travel expenses are made possible exclusively though fundraising efforts, sponsorships, donations and grants.
If you are interested in becoming an official sponsor, please email FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps Director Brian Calhoun at:
We are currently not accepting bookings at this time.