2016 Tony Pellegrino Tour Award

Devin FitzGerald in Madison Scout uniform

Devin FitzGerald,
2016 Tony Pellegrino Award Winner

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

"For as long as I can remember, drum corps has been part of my life in some sort of way. My father played a major role in exposing me to the activity, having marched in his own youth. Many of the summers of my childhood wouldn't be compete without seeing at least one drum corps show, whether it be a small local show or a historic finals night. Needless to say, I fell in love with the activity at a young age.

As I grew older and my summers became busier, it became difficult to get my fill of drum corps. But every time I'd return, it would be as if I never left. For me, nothing can quite beat the feeling you get when you arrive at a show. The smell of stadium food, the sounds of drums pounding in the distance, the distinct sound of a Dr. Beat metronome... These senses trigger a response within me that I cannot replicate any other way. I knew I had a desire to be a part of this activity in some way eventually.

For the past five years I have always set a goal for myself before the season started. My goals have ranged from learning as much as I can, to losing weight, to having a great time with friends. I can say that I have met each one of my goals and surpassed most. This year my goal is to stay in the moment and have as much fun with my corps as I can.

In the summer of 2011, my father and I ventured out to the newly constructed "Lucas Oil Stadium" for the first time to watch finals in its new home. It was at that point that I decided it was time to turn my dream into a reality. After some research, I found an open class corps that I would eventually call my home for the next 3 years, The Spartans from Nashua, NH. Although some logistics prevented me from marching the summer of 2012, I spent 2013 through 2015 building myself as an individual and a musician with people I will forever call my family. These years were what motivated me to study music.

If it were not for what I learned in my time at Spartans, I would not have made it to be where I am today studying at the prestigious Crane School of Music. At the end of last summer, I decided it was time to move on from The Spartans and strive to perform in a top 12 corps. A handful of events lead to me receiving a contract to play vibraphone in the Madison Scouts front ensemble. I can say with all honestly that I could not be happier anywhere else.

Reflecting on my life in this activity, I think it is safe to say that the reason that I do this is the constant strive for excellence. If it weren't for me taking the leap to get started on this activity, I do not know where I would be today. I cannot wait to see where else it takes me."

Read Devin'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
  Brian Kusior LaGrangeville NY Madison Scouts Baritone

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

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