2018 Legacy Award (in memory of Michele Owens)
2018 Legacy Award Winner
Maggie's letter to Drums Along The Mohawk:
My experience with drum corps did not have the "love at first sight" start as you may expect. To be honest, when I first started out color guard a few years ago, I did not have any special interest in the activity or a true passion. Then, my best friend Jenna started bringing her flag to school, which had belonged to her sister. After homework, she would say "Come on Maggie, just try some dropspins for me," and I would reluctantly try it. Time passed and suddenly, I wanted to perfect whatever she was teaching me. I soon grew to love the sport as I realized the technique and hard work it required, for I had always loved a good challenge. Eventually, I was introduced to winter guard and participated in two seasons with independent winter guards local to me. Our band director had taken notice of our interest and recommended that Jenna join a drum corps. I had qualms about auditioning due to age, price, time, and the fact that I had never marched on a field once in my entire life. My high school is very small and only has a band of about 20 people, so the thought of skipping to a World Class level with only a few years of winter guard and parade band experience seemed unimaginable. Yet, Jenna decided to give it a try and auditioned with Jersey Surf, who she marched with for the 2017 season. The real eye opener to drum corps for me was when I went to see Jenna perform in Allentown. I knew I loved drum corps before that, but wow. The brilliant amount of noise, color, and emotion that surrounded me during those performances truly awakened my senses. Every show was unique to itself and portrayed stories and thoughts so clearly that I could not help but cry at its beauty. As I looked down onto J. Birney Crum Stadium with the shining overhead lights, bustle of people, and night time chill, I had never felt so sure of something in my entire life. I would perform here someday, where my love of drum corps was fully awakened. Not long after, Jenna came home and we spent every second together talking about our experiences from over the summer. I was fascinated as she spoke of the long hours, draining heat, and arduous work the show required. This time, I was never discouraged or afraid because I could tell in her voice that it was all worth it. The family she spoke of and the feeling of performing sounded truly incredible. I am proud to say that her and I are both contracted with Jersey Surf this year and I cannot describe the excitement I have for this summer. The amount of knowledge I have gained is unexplainable. I feel more confident as a performer, student, and overall person. Just the atmosphere while being there is so energized and productive that you’d think it was magic, but it exists and I’m so grateful it does. Drum corps has taught me discipline, commitment, and the power of hard work. It has given me an amazing support group of friends and a passion that I can take pride in. I know that this summer is going to change my life, and provide me with World Class experiences that I can apply to all aspects of my life.