October 26, 2017 | Press
“We believe Long Island is ‘Strong Island’ and there are so many incredibly talented individuals who live here that need a place to share their talents and abilities with the world,” said Robert S. Budd, CEO, FREE. “We can be that place, to provide once in a lifetime opportunity to perform in front of thousands of fans in stadiums and arenas, all while being a part of an all-inclusive family oriented, fun, creative environment,” he continued.
Audition Eligibility Requirements
Recently, the FREE Players Drum Corps was selected as the first special needs group to perform at the DCI World Championships in 2018. The DCI World Championships is the largest event in the world for the Marching Arts Activity and has been called the “Super Bowl” of Drum Corps. The best of the best from the entire world gather to compete every year to decide who will become the World Champion. 30,000 spectators are expected to be in attendance for World Class Finals alone!
The FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps is the first Special Needs Drum & Bugle Corps or “Corps” Style Marching Band to exist in the world. The Corps was founded in 2010 by Senior Music Specialist, Brian Calhoun and is based out of Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. (FREE) Theatre Arts Day Program in Old Bethpage, NY.
Drum Corps is essentially 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 show.
The FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps is comprised entirely of members who are Differently Abled (Special Needs), ages 20 to 50 plus, who live all throughout Long Island NY. The Corps currently has 70 members, divided into 4 different sections, Drumline, Front Ensemble, Color Guard, Brass, as well as a Drum Major. There is also a plan to add a 5th section to the Corps (Woodwinds) in 2018.
Over the course of almost a decade, the FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps have performed at world class events in front of thousands of spectators, been featured by over 100 media outlets globally, developed a strong social media following on numerous platforms, and have inspired millions of people around the world!
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.
The FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps strives to break down boundaries, alleviate prejudice and show that anything is possible with heart, hard work and the desire to push one’s self beyond any previously conceived limitations. 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.
Instagram and Twitter: @FREEDrumCorps