Saints Host Successful Community Marching Music Clinic

On Saturday, Jun 12th, the Columbus Saints hosted their first clinic in nearly two years. This unique marching music clinic featured a variety of educators from HBCUs, DCI World Drum Corps, WGI World Ensembles, and more. Featured Clinician, Tim Snyder; Brass Caption for DCI’s Troopers, and Mandarins, joined the corps for the day, providing a unique experience directly from elite drum corps, targeted towards local students of all ages.


Visual BlockThe corps began the day with a short meet and greet, then moved into a drum corps styled visual block. Students learned a basic visual warmup sequence that combined dance, and marching into an easy to remember block. A short session on the basics of physical fitness, conditioning for marching, and basic marching positions was covered. Color Guard continued their fundamentals, then learned a high intensity routine for the clinic.

Students moved to their first sectionals of the day, where instructors covered basic to advanced techniques. For brass, clinician Tim Snyder, discussed the details and fundamentals behind the tone and power found in elite drum corps. Stephen Ingram; director of bands at CCS’ Linden-McKinley High School, discussed the specifics of tone found in HBCU styled bands. Together the clinicians educated students on the similarities in styles, connections in music fundamentals, and demonstrated aspects of each. The hornline then worked to mold their tone, build power, and performed additional breathing exercises building student fundamentals.

Percussion made big moves, welcoming students from a variety of local Columbus public schools, many who’d not played on a marching drum in over a year. Students broke down ensemble techniques, developed good attack fundamentals, and better integrated marching technique into their playing. Front ensemble welcomed a student for drum set, dedicating time to teaching ensemble basics, time-keeping, playing for front ensemble and more.

The corps hosted a roundtable discussion focused on bridging the gap between our communities, and different marching styles. Lead by the Saints director; Le Ron Carlton, the discussion charted the tradition of modern marching bands from it’s military routes, and moved into the divergence in genre and style. Students learned the basics of each style, history of Historical Black Colleges (HBCUs), the growth of drum corps, and the similarities amongst all styles. The roundtable ended with alumni of Central State, Talladega College, Tennessee State, University of Akron, Top Hats WGI, and more sharing their experiences as performers, and how drum corps is a great activity to bring all the styles together.

Our hearts are full with joy after bringing many in the community together for this event. With the recent pandemic, challenges facing our city with youth violence, and the adapted drum corps season, we’re happy to provide this experience. The Saints are committed to fostering friendship, fellowship, and excellence in the performing arts, by continually providing grassroots performance opportunities, scholarships for students to participate, and ways to utilize the performing arts as alternatives to violence, for a successful path forward. If you or someone you know would like to get involved as a member of the corps, staff, or volunteer, please visit our website at or email us at info @ columbussaints . org .

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