The brass section is on its way to Wisconsin for their February rehearsal weekend. Part of my pre-Madison Scouts rehearsal camp ritual is spent reviewing the corps' historical archives and visiting historic locations in town. Today I find myself in a hotel and coffee shop on the former site of Christ Presbyterian Church, where the first rehearsal in February of 1938 was held. As I read, I realize that as much as the activity and Madison Scouts have evolved, it's relatively easy to spot the educational, cultural, and social through-lines that connect us to our past. As I find these documents, I'll be sure to share them here for those who find them interesting. Entertainment, excellence, music and performance education, character development, service to others, human connection, life-long bonds...All since day one. (The two photos of news clips come from the December 8, 1991 issue of the 'Fleur-de-Lis', the former Madison Scouts newsletter that many likely recall. The 1940-41 photos come from C.H. Beebe's scrapbook archives that were recently digitized.) Shoutout to the 1991/92 corps brothers -- These are my personal favorite Madison Scouts productions... --
Special Alumni Note:
The text above comes from a post on my personal FB page, but I thought I'd take the time to give some additional notes to our loyal alumni.
As we head into this four-day brass-only rehearsal weekend in Milton, WI, just South of Madison (thanks to President's Day), we find ourselves in excellent shape.
- Scott Boerma has completed the brass book.
- Susan Smith, Sierra Rogers, and their respective brass & visual teams have been excellent in their virtual educational engagement (a skill we gained due to the pandemic that allows us to be incredibly efficient in our teaching and learning) of the membership.
- Recruiting and auditions for the 2023 season have gone incredibly well. Our baritone and trumpet sections are filled with great talent and have been since January. We'll firm up the final tuba spots at this camp (we expanded from 12 to 16 because the talent in this section was so strong) and will get very close to filling our 20-member mellophone section (4 more than what we've traditionally fielded).
- The color guard is already at 95% capacity - a position we haven't been in, in a long time.
- The percussion sections are complete except for one auxiliary percussion spot and two cymbal positions we recently elected to add (six performer cymbal line incoming).
- Forward Performing Arts and the Madison Scouts are in their strongest financial position ever.
- The corps membership represents 31 states (no international performers this year - their involvement dropped when the pandemic hit and hasn't entirely caught back up).
- Chris (current DCI Membership Chair), Jason Robb, Nick Monzi, and myself continue to position the Madison Scouts as leaders in the DCI Membership room. I can assure you I'm not being paid to say this -- Chris' leadership of the DCI Membership has been nothing less than world-class. In a time of great transition (Dan Acheson is retiring, we're exiting the pandemic, etc.), Chris has been excellent (in the whole meaning of the term) in guiding us in charting those waters. Sustainability, member safety, fundraising/development, etc., have been at the heart of our discussions.
As always, we're incredibly grateful for your continued support of the Madison Scouts. Plan to join us on July 1, 2023, at Middleton High School for the pre-Drums on Parade alumni gathering. Tickets to all FPA events (Madison, Whitewater, Eau Claire) are available at DCI.org.
Those interested in volunteering should contact Assistant Director Tina Jameson at