Spirit of America to Start First Marching Field Band in UAE

From a Spirit of America Press Release

Spirit of America has accepted an invitation from Drum Corps UAE Performing Arts (DCU) to travel to Dubai this January 2017 to assist in starting the first marching field band composed of brass, woodwinds, color guard and percussion in the United Arab Emirates. DCU’s vision is to start marching bands throughout the Middle East to promote teamwork, sportsmanship, and civic pride.

Spirit of America (SOA), joined by a staff of preeminent show designers and instructors, will be in Dubai January 8-22 to conduct workshops with students and staff, assisting them in building a program of their own from the ground floor up. Through open rehearsals, SOA’s staff will work alongside the staff and teachers in Dubai to give them the tools they need to build an ongoing, thriving marching band program. Spirit of America will be withholding a section of the show from the members until they get to Dubai, so that the learning staff in Dubai can see in action the process of members of the band receiving, learning, memorizing, and putting the show together on the field. In addition, all 150 members of Spirit of America will teach the students one on one, instructing them how to play their instruments (many of whom have never picked the instrument up), as well as teaching them the basics of marching. All aspects of field band will be covered, from good rehearsal protocol, to marching and music basics, to performing the show. Some of the students in Dubai will also march alongside members in a section of Spirit of America’s show.

The culmination of these two weeks of learning and working together will be a performance by Spirit of America and the students in Dubai, shared with schools, government officials, and the media to introduce them to marching band and its unique blend of arts and athletics.

Spirit of America has been doing workshops and exchange programs for over 16 years both nationally through tours of high school programs in the USA, and internationally to South Korea, South Africa, Australia, and Canada. Spirit of America is made up of members of the marching community from across the country. A number of the members are from various top international drum corps including Santa Clara Vanguard, Carolina Crown, The Cadets, Bluecoats, and Madison Scouts, as well as members of Blast! Japan, as well as numerous top WGI Indoor Ensembles including Rhythm X, Infinity, Matrix, Spirit WP, United, Cadets WP, and Dartmouth HS, Braddock Independent, Pride of Cincinatti, Eclectix, Corona, Black Gold, North Glenn, Avidity, and SCV indoor.

For more information, or interviews with members and staff of Spirit of America, contact Kirsti Pugsley at 774-722-9986, or email her at [email protected]


The 2017 Dubai Project Staff:

Director: Richard K. Pugsley

Managing Director: Karen Moore

Show Designers/ Arrangers: Michael Klesch, Ian Hale, Colin McNutt, Craig Harms, Jennifer Leseth


Instructional Staff:

Brass: Gino Cipriani, Steve Bentley, Selena Maytum, Ryan Williams, JP Crowley, Claire Pittman, Travis Larson

Color Guard: Jennifer Leseth, Lindsay Kusmierczak, William Martin

Percussion: Ian Hale, Colin McNutt, Zach Schlicher, Steve Ballard, Jason Ihnat, Ted Sullivan, Alex King, Brian Perez

Woodwinds: Andre Feagin

Visual: Leon May, Aaron Bailey, Brandon Wickham, Evan Tropp