Reflections on DMA@ULM 2011

After landing at 11:50 PM and finally arriving home at 2:00 AM I thought it best that I take a few hours to decompress (um…sleep) before posting an entry about last week’s Drum Major Academy® at the University of Louisiana / Monroe.  I had lots of time to think over the experience during my flights and drive so let’s see if I can recap it all for everyone out there reading.

To put it simply, it was a fantastic week!  The staff and impact team worked together as one (expected and anticipated everywhere we go but never taken for granted so it is always wonderful to see it come together so quickly).  The students were like they ALWAYS are at DMA—apprehensive at the start; life-long friends at the end.  It’s funny how that happens…I don’t know WHY it always happens..but it ALWAYS DOES!  🙂

Parker Denson was at the helm and did a terrific job!  It is always a treat for me to see staff who came aboard long after I did reach new heights in their professional lives!  And as I sit here in my home digging out from under a pile of work, Parker is finishing up Day 2 in Alabama–go Parker!  (I promise to post an entry about what is going on in Tuscaloosa in the next 24 hours.)

I was considering writing about all the lessons the students learned throughout the week , the various activities in which they were engaged, and the skills they all started to develop but I will save that for other locations over the course of the summer.  Tonight I wish to take a moment and thank people–the students who attended, their parents and the student’s band directors.:

During the last 9 months the staff and administration of the George N. Parks Drum Major Academy® worked tirelessly to prepare for this summer.  I would be lying if I said we weren’t experiencing a sense of apprehension as we set out to navigate what we consider familiar waters but without our captain at the helm.  But throughout the week and especially yesterday morning at the closing session the comments by students, parents and directors were overwhelmingly positive–they thanked us for maintaining the integrity of George’s curriculum; for continuing in the DMA tradition of moving forward and “never giving up;” and for continuing to offer such a positive life experience for today’s youth.

So tonight I wish to thank all of YOU–those whom I met at ULM and those of you who are about to experience your first, second, third or even fourth season with DMA.  Thank YOU for trusting and believing.

George had a dream, “a dream worth keeping,” and we will do everything we possibly can to “never let it fade away.”

With Pride~~heidi

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