August 8 2016
BHS Marching Band Members Win at Drum Major Academy Competition
Three Burlington High School Marching Band members had a great showing during a competition at UMass Amherst last week.
The college hosted the Drum Major Academy (DMA) and as part of that held a march-off, an intense competition, and on day one the BHS band’s new Junior Drum Major Zyann Sharkah won the whole thing. On the second day Burlington’s Color Guard Captain Crystal Curran, a senior, won and Junior Drum Major Christ Costello placed.
According to a release about the competition and the DMA from BHS Music Booster’s Barbara L’Heureux , a march-off is a serious and difficult test that requires a lot of skill and competition.
“A march-off is a competition that tests marching technique, execution, composure under pressure and quick verbal processing,” the release states. “Only this Simon Says game is sudden death and on steroids ... you win or you ‘die,’ which in this case means that a single mistake no matter how slight removes you from the competition. At BHS, march offs start with a group of approximately 130 and end with the last person standing being surrounded by all and celebrating a very loud thunderous victory. At DMA the competition pits at least 350 of the best marchers in the state against each other. Burlington has had a quite a few DMA march-off winners as well as final march-off winners.”
BHS Band Director Sean Buchsbaum praised the members of the marching band that took part int he competition.
"We are always proud of our leadership students and their efforts, but even more so as they represent Burlington on the regional stage at such a fine training program that is the Drum Major Academy (DMA). Their collective success at this year's session is no accident - these performers are consistently raising the standards for both themselves and their peers.”
In total seven Burlington musicians attended this year’s 5-day/4-night DMA, which is considered to be the nation’s foremost authority on the art of drum majoring, and the cost ($500 each) was covered by the BHS Music Boosters.