Seven members of the McNeese State University Pride of McNeese Marching Band are participating this summer in the elite Drum Corps International (DCI), which consists of 47 corps from the United States, Canada and Europe.
The students will perform and compete head-to-head with their corps units during a national tour that ends with the DCI World Championships Aug. 6-11 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Following a vigorous audition process, only the top performers on instruments and in marching are chosen, according to Dr. Lonny Benoit, interim head of the W.A. and Dorothy Hanna Department of Performing Arts.
“Our students will be participating with five of these corps organizations in every capacity from performing in the color guard to marching in the brass and percussion sections,” says Benoit.
Those selected for the DCI tour are: Jonathan Moore, Houma, a health and human performance major, on euphonium and David Billodeau, Sulphur, music education major, as drum major/rehearsal assistant, both with the Blue Stars in La Crosse, Wisconsin; Dawson Wallace, Merryville, music education and music performance major, on mellophone, with the Phantom Regiment in Rockford, Illinois; Ty Ellender, Lake Charles, music education major, on percussion, with the Cadets in Allentown, Pennsylvania; Hayley Bourgeois, Lake Charles, music education major, on percussion and Ashlyn Dufren, Prairieville, engineering major, in the Color Guard, both with the Louisiana Stars in Lafayette; and Joshua Rigby, Lumberton, Texas, music education major, on euphonium with the Corpsmen in San Antonio, Texas.