2016 John Winter Family Fund Award

Brian Kusior

Brian Kusior,
2016 John Winter Family Fund Award Winner

Brian's letter to Drums Along The Mohawk on why he marches with DCI drum corps:

"I was introduced to drum corps through a high school marching band field trip to the 2012 Tour of Champions event in MetLife stadium. Up until that point I had no idea what drum corps really was, only that it didn't have woodwinds, which I thought was super weird, since I had marched clarinet up until that point. However, after being absolutely captivated the power and the precision of the corps I saw that evening, I knew that I had to make a group like that. I knew that I had to participate in this activity.

I actually have my younger sister to thank for giving me the tools needed to start marching brass. This is mostly because whenever she was out of the house, I would steal her baritone and try to teach myself how to buzz correctly through YouTube videos. Eventually she caught on, and taught me how to do lip slurs and articulate with actual technique. Fast forward 8 months, and my dream came true as I was standing on the field in Gillette Stadium and
heard the words 'from Camden County New Jersey, Jersey
Surf!'. I knew I made it.

A year before that moment I couldn't even buzz on a mouthpiece. And now I was marching with a world class corps. I was learning so much too, both musically and just with life in general. I learned how to manage time correctly during an Eat Pack Load situation, I learned how to take care of my body and stretch correctly, and I learned how to maintain relationships in such a high stress, low sleep environment.

The 2013 Madison Scouts show 'Corps of Brothers-75 Years of Survival' was the first show I saw that truly moved me. I knew that after listening to their rendition of 'You'll Never Walk Alone' that this was my dream corps. I also enjoyed the fact that they started out as a scout troop, as I am an Eagle Scout, so to see the fleur de leis on this uniform is a nice little reminder of what I came from. Now that I'm marching with them, I realized why I do drum corps. I do drum corps because I want to be the 2013 Madison Scouts to that kid that plays clarinet in his or her high school marching band.

I want someone to see the show I perform and think 'man, if he could do this, why can't I?' That is my motivation throughout this spring training session. Yeah it's hard and hot and gross, but I'm not doing it for me. I'm marching drum corps to show anyone who doubts that they can get into any of these fantastic groups, I want to show them that they can.

Being a Madison Scout has been a dream ever since 2013, and now that I finally have achieved that goal, I want to show others that they can achieve their dreams as well. Having the knowledge that I can be an inspiration to someone means the world to me, and is what pushes me to do my absolute best every rep. Why do I participate in drum corps? I do it to show others that they can as well."

Read Brian's Letter of Recommendation

Additional 2016 Tour Award Winners

Year Name City State Corps Name Position
2016 Chelsea Catalone New Hartford NY Jersey Surf Bassline
  Devin FitzGerald Schenectady NY Madison Scouts Vibraphone

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

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