This past weekend at Drum Corps International Finals, the USAAAMB was given the opportunity to name their new 2016 U.S. Army All-American Drum Major.
A crowd of over 22,000 was present at this year’s Finals, not including the crowds at preliminary competitions leading up to Saturday evening. Drumline Battle and SoundSport filled the streets of Indianapolis nearly all day on Saturday, concluding with a highly competitive evening of sight and sound at Lucas Oil Stadium. Marching Music’s Major League, as DCI is often deemed, concluded with a third place finish of the Bluecoats (Canton, OH), second place finish of Carolina Crown (Fort Mill, SC) and a first place finish for the Blue Devils (Concord, CA).
At intermission, Paul Nierman, President of the National Association for Music Education, 2015 Drum Major Emily Swanson, Staff Sergeant Jacquelyn Jones, and 2016-2017 Lead Director of the USAAAMB Ken Bodiford welcomed in 2016 Drum Major, Vitaliy Popovych of Heritage High School in Ringgold, GA. Popovych is pictured here in his high school uniform, soon to don the colors of the U.S. Army. The band shako was passed to Popovych as Swanson retires her role as Drum Major.
A night full of emotion for the drum corps performers was equated in the families of these two young musicians. We thank and congratulate 2015 Drum Major Emily Swanson as she continues on to Bowling Green State University, where she plans to be in the college marching band. Popovych will have his official Selection Tour recognition ceremony at his high school this fall so his peers may also share in this honor.
For more information on the 2017 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band, visit nafme.org/usaaamb.