The Highland Regiment from Somerset County, New Jersey is the newest corps competing in Class A. This corps was the idea of Corps Director, Phillip Martin along with a small group of his drum corps friends. Funding for the corps came from private donors who felt as Phil does, that young people need a place to make friends and express themselves. Phil, a college professor, feels that students do not have opportunities to make friendships that last. He realized that he met his best friends through drum corps, in both the junior and senior circuits. He also believes that drum corps friends become lifelong friends and wants to afford that opportunity to others.
Recruiting for the corps was done at band and winter color guard shows. Most of the corps members are brand new to competitive drum corps but not afraid to accept the challenge. Their show this year establishes their Scottish identity. They felt it was very important to be unique and distinguish themselves from the start. Highland Regiment’s show is titled ” The Lion and the Cross ” and includes musical selections ” Moorside March “,” Psalm 23″ and ” Highland Castle “. Fans will see elements of traditional Highland games like a caber toss, a tug of war and perhaps a hammer throw or stone put.
Short term goals for the corps this year are provide members with a good experience marching drum corps and to retain those members. As a new corps director, Phil Martin is learning a lot as the season unfolds. He is focused to assure that all members are safe and happy throughout their inaugural season.
This year’s staff has decades of drum corps and teaching experience behind them. This should ease the transition to competitive drum corps. Many of the staff got their start in the Bayonne Bridgemen, and they have tried to adopt their ” work smart ” approach to rehearsals and collaborations.
Phil Martin’s message to the fans of DCA is simple, ” I hope DCA fans enjoy our take on drum corps. The program includes some elements that many might label as “old fashioned”, but they’re included to be respectful of what preceded us. You’ll hear new music that will stir old memories “.
The corps is still working out the details for their summer schedule. They are already confirmed to compete at the Reading show on August 25th, and DCA Championship weekend in Williamsport, Pennsylvania on Labor Day weekend. With eight corps in DCA Class A this season, they should give the fans a season of highly competitive drum corps. Best of luck to our new DCA Class A members this season.
DCA Staff Writer