Spotlight Series: Drum Corps International Raises the Bar on Student Safety Standards

DCI 2019 continues its on-going focus on heightening the ultimate student experience in drum corps and putting safety and well-being at the forefront of every aspect of the organization. In January, DCI held its annual meeting highlighting a theme of student health, wellness, and safety throughout the DCI community. More than 350 leaders from across all participating organizations attended the conference to engage in an agenda featuring expert presentations and critical discussions on health, wellness and safety of every aspect of every activity under the DCI umbrella in preparing for the #DCI2019 competitive tour.

One of the DCI initiatives involves a new partnership with NFHS/Varsity University to provide trainings, certifications, and courses through Varsity University to teach and reinforce awareness and compliance. Training topics range from general health and wellness to maltreatment of student participants and give directors and staff members within DCI participating organizations the opportunity to strengthen knowledge and understanding that can benefit everyone involved in marching arts performance. DCI is also working with Varsity University and NFHS to continue identifying ways to incorporate best practices into the training curriculum as the new coursework expands its coverage on ensuring protection for participants in all marching music organizations nationwide. 

During the coming months, DCI participating organizations will incorporate health, safety, and wellness activities into everything they do during collective community events as well as special initiatives at the individual organization level. For instance, the entire DCI community will pause during spring training to participate in a Safety Summit broadcast covering issues that will benefit every staff member, performer, and volunteer across the all participating organizations. Special events and opportunities will continue throughout the season for performers and staff including a special clinic sponsored by the Marching Music Health and Wellness Project in San Antonio following the DCI Southwestern Championships in July.

The Discussion Continues.

Innovation, continuous development, and collaboration can be seen in the fabric of each drum corps organization! With the way paved by DCI, every corps is implementing the best practices outlined in the NFHS Band Safety Course and the DCI policies and procedures. We are excited to begin spotlighting these corps and the great work they are doing to create a positive environment for their membership! Stay tuned in the coming weeks for exclusive peeks into these drum corps student and organizational safety practices. 

About the Author Danielle Lavrenz

Danielle Lavrenz lives for pageantry and the marching arts. Passionate about colorguard, she has marched since she was in 7th grade. She marched with the Morton High School band program for a total of 6 years, including 3 years in their circuit-level winterguard. She was a 4 year camper at the Music for All Summer Symposium and marched in the 2009 Bands of America Tournament of Roses Parade Honor Band. She went on to attend Murray State University, where she studied English Education, was an active member in the MSU Racer Band, and was devoted to her sisters in the Sigma Alpha Iota music fraternity. She marched with The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps in 2010, 2011, and 2014 as well, earning a bronze and gold metal during her tenure. She has teched, choreographed, and directed for Marshall County High School, Calloway County High School, Bethel University, Morton High School, Waukesha North High School, and Greendale High School. Lavrenz is a member of the DSI Marketing Team and currently resides in Waukesha, Wisconsin, where she teaches at Greendale High School. She is also a staff member at the Music For All Summer Symposium.

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