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‘Jersey Surf’ rolls in for Hope stopover

By Submitted, 07/23/18 9:43 PM

The Jersey Surf Drum and Bugle Corps has performed nationally each summer since the early ‘90s, offering high school and college students ages 16-21 an opportunity to extend their musical and marching performance year while polishing their talents. The audition and tuition group stopped in Hope recently for a one-night stay on the way to the Drum Corps International Southwest Regional Championships in San Antonio, Texas. – Ken McLemore/Hope Public Schools

HOPE – They travel in five buses with two 18 wheelers, an RV and a U-Haul overcab truck; and, they roll into wherever they go with a professional precision that reflects the performance of the 100 or so musicians of the Jersey Surf Drum and Bugle Corps.
Throughout the summer each year, the non-profit marching performance experience that is Jersey Surf crosses the nation both entertaining and competing in one of the fastest growing summer activities for students ages 16-21. Their 2018 schedule recently brought them to Hope for a stopover on the way to the Drum Corps International Southwest Championships in San Antonio, Texas.
Hope Public Schools Bands Director Julie Gladden said the group was diverted to Hope for the overnight stay after other arrangements were cancelled at the last moment.
“We want DCI to consider us as a place where they can stop on their tours,” Gladden said.
She said the group rolled into Hope overnight on July 16 and Gladden and her staff and students turned the Hope High School MAC Center foyer into an improvised sleeping quarters for the students’ sleeping bags.
The group hit the field at Hammons Stadium after a 7:30 a.m. wake up call, physical fitness warm up and breakfast for a quick full corps rehearsal, then broke into sectional rehearsals for the remainder of the day on Tuesday.
“We were watching them, and they are amazing,” Gladden said. “Some of my students were really excited.”
Like virtually all DCI member summer groups, Jersey Surf is an audition and tuition experience. Founded by high school and collegiate band instructors in 1990, and headquartered in Mount Holly, N.J., Jersey Surf allows high school and college band students to extend the marching season experience through the summer, according to the non-profit organization’s website.
“These opportunities occur in an environment which promotes the social and artistic development of the organization’s participants through creative programs, designed with the highest possible quality of leadership and instruction,” the website explains.
That same philosophy of extended musical experience is at the heart of Gladden’s summer program for the Hope bands program.
“The goal this summer has been to keep an instrument with the students,” she said. “They’re doing a great job; and, I’m excited to see how far they will go this season.”
Gladden said the chance opportunity for her students to see what the next step can be for a dedicated high school musician was valuable.
“Now I have a couple of students who are serious about getting into it,” she said.