City Sound Drum and Bugle Corps
Nathaniel Lewis Jr. created City Sound Drum and Bugle Corps on June 14, 1997. The initial goal upon creating City Sound was to create an organization that would give teens and young adults, in “diverse cultures”, true life experiences and belief in oneself, yet creating an opportunity to develop musically, to their fullest potential. City Sound personally assists each and every member in developing their skills and desire to participate in the performing arts to a degree they have never imagined.
City Sound, a Boy Scout "Learning for Life" Explorer Post, has performed throughout the state of California. In 2001, City Sound, which was then only a drum line, was invited to perform at the New York Open Drum and Bugle Corps show. Over the years, many young adults who performed in City Sound have gone on to perform with some of the best college and performing arts groups in the United States. Many more have grown to be productive members of their communities and have attributed much of their success to the work ethics and morals they learned while in City Sound.
City Sound’s primary goal is to make available performing arts opportunities, not found in many California Schools. Within our organization, to believe in yourself, hope of possibilities, and prayers within our diverse community, are some of the keys used to steer our kids away from street violence, and provide them with an excellent performing arts education, and to create a place of refuge from the everyday problems that our young adults face.
With the help of the Los Angeles Youth Arts Organization, City Sound can and will provide performing arts opportunities not found in all communities throughout the Los Angeles area. We pride ourselves in the ability to take these kids, their “Hope” and “pay it forward”.
Drum and Bugle Corps is an original American art form. The beginning can be traced to veteran’s organizations such as the VFW and the American Legion, as well as organizations such as community Churches. Soldiers returning from World War I celebrated Veterans Day and the Fourth of July by marching parades to the drum and the bugle, just as they had done during the war.
Since the formation of Drum Corps International (DCI) in 1972, the sophistication of creative and artistic skills in drum and bugle corps has increased tremendously. The activity has developed to a level that is now considered a contemporary art form, while the organizational efforts of DCI have elevated the status of the activity to its current position as the second largest youth program in the United States.
While it would appear that a drum and bugle corps (or "drum corps") might be easily defined, it is much more than drums and bugles. The modern drum corps is comprised of 150 performers from around the world. Drum and bugle corps is a visual explosion of color, energy and music put into motion on football field. This synchronized, artistic ensemble consists of bugles large and small, percussion instruments of every variety and a color guard that heightens the visual impact. Drum and bugle corps is about the thrill of competition, striving for perfection and being rewarded for a job well done. But most of all, drum and bugle corps is about talented individuals who devote their time, skill and a love for performing each season before thousands of enthusiastic fans throughout North America.
Each fall some 20,000 young people between the ages of 14 and 22 begin long hours of practice for the coming summer of exhibitions and competitions. The new season’s music is introduced, technique is developed and individuals learn to become a fine-tuned ensemble. The show design is introduced and music is put into motion. Many more hours, days and weeks are spent polishing the 10-minute show. For the performers who have made it this far, drum and bugle corps is more than a hobby or a pastime; it is a way of life. As each corps becomes a team, the combined talents and personalities of its members create a unique style and identity. The collection of individual corps and their common passion is what constitutes the drum and bugle corps community.
A number of associations and circuits exist throughout the United States and Canada. Drum Corps International (DCI) is the largest and most influential of these associations. DCI is a nonprofit youth organization serving junior drum and bugle corps around the world. Corps participating in DCI competitions perform in two divisions: World Class & Open Class. Each season culminates with the DCI Summer Music Games, the world championships of drum and bugle corps.