TEWKSBURY — Megan Cunningham of Tewksbury will head back to school this fall as a World Champion after winning the title as a member of the Spartans Drum and Bugle Corps at the Drum Corps International (DCI) Open Class World Championship Finals in Marion, Indiana on Aug. 7, 2019. Cunningham plays the trumpet and is in her first season with the Spartans. This is the Spartans’ sixth World Championship.
The Nashua, N.H.-based Spartans is one of 48 members of DCI that compete throughout the country each summer. In addition to its six World Championship titles, the Spartans won the Bronze Medal in Open Class in 2015, and placed fifth in Open Class in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Cunningham is a rising senior at TMHS. She also performs in the school’s marching band and winter guard, is an honor roll student and member of the math team among other activities. She also supports the middle school band with her trumpet playing on occasion, and plays at Memorial and Veterans Day services.
“I’ve only been home for a few days but I already miss my Spartans family more than I can say,” said Cunningham. “I had an incredible and memorable season — from performing in front of the crowd in Lawrence to seeing Niagara Falls at night to standing on the field when they announced us as Open Class World Champions — and I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to march this year.”
“Each year I am more and more amazed at the group of young people we work with,” said Paul G. LaFlamme Jr., president of the Spartans. “Their commitment, dedication, love of music and willingness to give up beach days and summer parties to work hard for 14 hours a day in the hot sun never ceases to amaze me. This year’s corps is no different — they worked hard, they left it all on the field, and together with our staff, they brought another World Championship home. I couldn’t be more proud of them all.”
Said Cunningham, “I didn’t really know what to expect going into this experience — I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to succeed both physically and mentally. Fortunately, I surprised myself with how much I was able to accomplish this season — I learned that I was much stronger than I thought.”
DCI accepts high school and college students ages 15 to 22. While many of the members participate in their school’s marching band or other ensemble, it is not a prerequisite. Members of the Spartans do not have to live in the New Hampshire area — those members who reside outside of the area can be paired up with volunteer parents who open their homes to Spartans members during the summer. Parents make up a big portion of the Spartans work force, volunteering to travel as chaperones, cooks, tailors and much more.
The Spartans will host audition camps in November and December 2019 for anyone interested in learning more or in joining the corps for the 2020 season
The Spartans Drum and Bugle Corps is a community-based performing arts program in Nashua, New Hampshire. An independent non-profit organization, not affiliated with any school or government organization, the Spartans is one of the most respected and established drum corps organizations in the U.S. The corps was founded in 1955 as a way to keep at-risk youth off the streets.
The Spartans is run by volunteer parents and a professional teaching staff who work with all members to create and maintain a proud, responsible youth organization.
For more information on the Spartans and the audition camps, visit www.spartansdbc.org.