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Differently abled drum corps featured at DCA world championship in city

Celebrating inclusion, and excelling in their field, the world’s first differently abled drum corps is making a special appearance to the Drum Corp Associates’ championship, officials announced yesterday.

The Free Players Drum Corps, from Long Island, New York, are a must-see, said Allen Buell, president of DCA.

“They are here to celebrate their abilities, not their disabilities. They are brilliant, brilliant people, and they are going to perform their hearts out, and you must not miss it,” he said

Director and founder of the group, Brian Calhoun said he works with his players to emphasize their strengths.

“The biggest challenge we always face is having to think outside the box,” he said. “There’s certain things that work for us that are common for the typical drum unit, but then we have to also take a look at our members and what their talents and abilities are.”

It’s important to work with the members to realize their full potential, said Calhoun.

For example, the Free Players Drum Corps staff work with members individually during their performance to coach and conduct them.

“We also build leadership within the ranks of the members,” he said. Seasoned members are encouraged to work with others to help them hit the beat or note.

“It’s definitely been a journey to get to where we need to be to make this weekend successful,” said Calhoun.

Saturday, the Free Players are scheduled to headline the championship at 9:30 p.m. with their 2019 performance, “Fabulous,” then will play again on Sunday morning.

“We’re thrilled to be here and humbled to have this opportunity to perform and share our member’s talents and abilities on the world stage,” he said.

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