2017 John Winter Family Fund Award

Jack Williams

Jack Williams,
2017 John Winter Family Fund Award Winner

Jack's letter to Drums Along The Mohawk:

I was introduced to DCI and the world of drum corps on July 30th, 2014. I joined my high school’s marching band, the New Hartford Marching Spartans for my senior year, and as part of being in the group, we were to attend a rehearsal for the Boston Crusaders. I had no idea who the Boston Crusaders were or what they were doing, but from the moment I saw them do their thing on the field, I was immediately hooked. The precision and hard work that went into performing one of these shows was something that I’ve never experienced before in my life, and even though this was before I had ever performed a marching band show, I knew it was my destiny to be on the field with a DCI corps.

After I graduated from New Hartford HS in 2015, I enrolled in SUNY Oswego, where I was majoring in Mass Communications and Broadcasting. Obviously, not being a music major, I was taking many classes that had nothing to do with music, which meant I was spending a lot of my downtime in the percussion studio taking private lessons in order to build a skill set that was up to a professional level. While in Oswego at concert band rehearsal, I met another percussionist named Derek, who coincidentally, was in the hornline at a corps out of Connecticut named 7th Regiment. Through conversations with Derek, I learned more about the corps and what they were about, and from there, I decided that that was the place I wanted to begin my drum corps career. I didn’t march in 2016 because I was changing schools, but in December of 2016, I sent in my audition video, and in January of 2017, I received my first DCI contract to march with 7th Regiment.

Three years after seeing a drum corps show for the first time, I’m actually going to be on the field, where these people who I thought were the best musicians in the world were. So why am I involved in drum corps? I want to be the person that inspired that kid in the bleachers. I want to be the person that proves that you can be a part of this activity if you’re willing to put the time in, and I want to be the person that proves that you can be the underdog and still success, not only in music, but in life.


Recommendation by Martin A. Hollister, New Hartford High School Band Director


Additional 2017 Tour Award Winners

Year Name City State Corps Name Position
2017 Katie Bogardus Ballston Lake NY Bluecoats Color Guard
  Devin FitzGerald Schenectady NY Santa Clara Vanguard Vibraphone
  Paul Mangelsdorf LaGrangeville NY 7th Regiment Tuba

View ALL of our Tour Award Winners, past and present!

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