Jump to content

Greetings from Northern Lights Drum & Bugle Corps

Recommended Posts

Hi there all, I just want to hop on here and introduce myself and my organization to DCP. My name is Doug, and I am one of the founders and on the board of directors for the Northern Lights Drum & Bugle Corps based in Muskegon, Michigan. You may have seen a post or comment from me on the drum corps subreddit, but felt like it would help with our exposure a bit to post here in a more long-form way.

A little about me, I have been around the marching arts, and specifically drum corps, since my first introduction to the activity in 2003 when I was in middle school and in awe of the Cavaliers "Spin Cycle". Been hooked ever since. I marched with the 2008 Dutch Boy as a rookie drum major (what a wild growth experience that was), then in 2012 on contra with the Kilties. At this point, I needed to focus on a growing family and was loosely paying attention until the 2022 season when my oldest kid became a freshman and marching for our local high school band who are highly competitive. This gave me the drive to get back onto the field at 32 years old and 10 years between seasons. 😜 So my kids and I made the travel weekly to march with the 2022 Cincinnati Tradition. All throughout this time, I was a tuba performance major in college and taught marching bands all over the state and even in Ohio.

This is where Northern Lights' history begins, also. My wife knew we were hooked again, but the travel really drained us. It was disappointing to see so many of the Midwest all-age corps gone. One fateful conversation began with my wife asking "how do you start one of these things", and the rest is history now.

Northern Lights began with barely 20 members at auditions in 2023, grew to 42 members for our inaugural SoundSport season culminating in a Gold Rating at the festival last August, and we've blown up to almost 150 who attended auditions for 2024, with 104 contracted members for the upcoming season. We are also in the first group of organizations trialing the approval process to move from SoundSport to the new DCI All-Age Class, which has been very exciting and we feel is a promising move for DCI and all-age corps in general.

There's tons more info on our website at https://www.northernlightsmi.org/ or on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/northernlightsmi if you are curious about us.

I wanted to post to help promote Northern Lights of course, but also to make myself available for any who ask that same question -- how do you start one of these things-- and have questions about the process. I want to tell you it IS possible with the right team of dedicated individuals. We want to see drum corps as an activity grow again, and we're happy to share how we built our successes so far, to bring it to more areas around the country. If you have any questions, my wife Misty is our executive director and can be reached at director@northernlightsmi.org. 


  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

awesome and welcome!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you both! We just had our first rehearsal since before Christmas due to snow storms up here. The members kept their foot on the gas at home/in virtual sectionals, though. Holy cow, are we excited to share this with the world! I'll share our February news and announcements video with a sneak peek clip into our first ensemble rehearsal a little later this month.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...