Marching BandI first spoke to Gary Doherty, the new head of Drum Corps International's educational division about three months ago.  At that time the idea of the new OnQ performance education program was in its relative infancy.  When I first heard the great ideas and possibilities that the OnQ program had in the works I was immediately taken by the fact that if successful, OnQ could be a very worthwhile and exciting way to help musicians with an interest in the Drum Corps activity to improve and excel, even in the absense of being in an actual Corps.  Recently OnQ was officially rolled out with great fanfare by DCI and asked Mr. Doherty if I might share our conversation with my readers here at MusicEdMagic.  This article shares a written interview, taken on August 20, 2007.   Click the read more link to view the interview with Mr. Doherty and to see what all the hype is about.

The following interview is from an email conversation between the author and Gary Doherty, the head of the OnQ education division of Drum Corps International, written in late August of 2007. 

How has the overall organization of Drum Corps changed over the last dozen years? 

Like any great organization, Drum Corps International continues to evolve.  Responding to the creative drive from the corps, the needs of the fans, and technology, Drum Corps has a decidedly different face today, than even 5 years ago.


What changes have occurred within individual corps that have pushed them from focusing solely on the high school age student to the younger, elementary and middle school students?

The creation of the new division of Drum Corps International, OnQ Performance Education , has been one of the most significant changes in the history of DCI.  This marks a paradigm shift to allow the entrance of educational, intrinsic, and formative concepts to share the stage with the competitive events for which Drum Corps International is known.  Our initiatives will include curricula for musicians in elementary, high school, & collegiate settings.

Has there been a driving force that has caused these changes?

As I mentioned, evolution is the key.  It is Dan Acheson’s desire to move Drum Corps International from being successful to being significant.  This statement alone moves us into the intrinsic nature of music, motion, marching, and memories!  Economics, as it relates to marketing, has a play in this as well.  We want to create new markets and new fans for the Drum Corps events and products.

What benefits can individual band programs get from encouraging their students to participate in DCI activities and organizations?

I used DCI events and activities to motivate and inspire my students.  We hosted a show in Midland, TX and the validation and exposure that came from this event was indescribably important to what we were trying to do.

What can students that live far away from organized corps do to participate or in some way get involved? 

Stay tuned to the OnQ and DCI web sites where we have many interactive web activities and events.  When OnQ is launched in November we plan to have interactive instruction and resources to assist students in remote areas (or ones who live in metropolitan areas and want to improve their skills!)

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