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    Musicians – The Sports/Music Connection

    By Dendy Jarrett |

    Musicians – The Sports/Music Connection

    Aren’t they really different? Maybe not…


    by Dendy Jarrett




    It’s football season, which means half-time musical ceremonies, high-school marching bands, and some high-profile musical act playing at the Superbowl. Hockey and basketball games pump up their audiences with adrenalin-inducing music. Every two years, the Olympics start with a musical flourish as athletes parade around the field. Even a few sports stars, like Shaquille O’Neal,  are musicians too.


    This connection goes against the stereotype of the geeky musician and the muscular jock, but the two have quite a bit in common. Both sports and music require physical dexterity—and the stars in each field often exhibit it to an extreme level. Both are disciplines, and people tend to get into sports and music at an early age. The careers of both musical and sports stars often culminate in stadiums full of people, and, of course, both music and sports are all about entertainment and excitement.




    There’s even something that erases the boundary between sports and music—Drum Corps is not band but a competitive music sport made up of drum corps units world-wide. They start rehearsal in the fall, then rehearse all winter for a nationwide tour starting in June that culminates at the Championships in August. During the tour, the members rise early, rehearse all day, board a bus to the next destination, catch a few hours of sleep in a sleeping bag, then get up and do it all over again.


    Sounds like life on the road for indie bands, eh? But there’s more to the story.


    I admit it, I was a band geek growing up. If anyone ever wondered where I was, they could find me in the band hall behind a drum set. Being immersed in music helped me and many of my friends survive those tumultuous teenage years, just as sports has done for others. Some musicians and athletes saw what they did as a ticket out of what they feared would be a mundane life.


    And, like sports, music builds a lot of the same character traits: discipline, teamwork (especially if you’re in a band), patience, and dedication. And even if you don’t end up playing in the World Series or in front of screaming fans at Madison Square Garden, what you will have learned along the way will serve you well—wherever life takes you.  -HC- 



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    (Coda: If you’ve never watched drum corps, do yourself a favor and watch the Blue Devils Drum Corps from Concord, California in their final season encore performance below—as they won the 2017 Drum Corps International Championships. {Multi-cam Version} It may not be your kind of music, but you’ll see a bunch of musicians who truly knew how to “give it their all.”)







    Dendy Jarrett is the Publisher and Director of Harmony Central. He has been heavily involved at the executive level in many aspects of the drum and percussion industry for over 25 years and has been a professional player since he was 16. His articles and product reviews have been featured in InTune Monthly, Gig Magazine, DRUM! and Modern Drummer Magazines.


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    In your description of drum corps (well done!), I would humbly add that participants get to pay for the privilege! 

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    Sorry, I strongly disagree... the only thing that drum corps has in common with sports is the field that they play on. Sports tend to be violent, physically damaging and promotes an unhealthy competition where there's always a loser. Drum Corps (and Music in general) can be competitive but participants grow physically, mentally and emotionally from participation...  AND music builds life long relationships, communication and peace of mind. 

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