DCI partnering with Varsity Performing Arts to launch “SoundSport Scholastic” events

MEMPHIS — Varsity Performing Arts, a division of Varsity Spirit—the global leader in apparel, camps and competitions for cheerleading teams, dance teams, and bands—and Drum Corps International (DCI) announced today that they are joining forces to expand, reimagine, and reintroduce SoundSport® as a Scholastic Performance Event Series in Fall 2021.

Launched in 2013 as a part of the DCI Summer Tour, SoundSport® empowers musicians and performing arts groups of all sizes to stage audience-focused performances that reflect their local schools and communities. The “SoundSport® Scholastic” expansion program will increase overall participation in SoundSport® and ensure student safety while supporting lifelong participation in music and performing arts. Designed to welcome thousands of new participants, the program will eliminate barriers to participation and offer high-quality performance formats on both live and virtual stages. Groups will be encouraged to perform locally in a broad range of categories that can create pathways for national and international performance opportunities.

“Our mission is to bring the life-enriching benefits and enjoyment of marching music performance to more people worldwide,” said Dan Acheson, CEO of Drum Corps International. “Our partnership with Varsity Performing Arts to launch the ‘SoundSport® Scholastic’ program will provide magnificent, expanded stages for performers to engage in the pursuit and achievement of their personal best.”

Varsity Performing Arts’ mission is to offer the most enriching opportunities possible for all marching arts performers, fueling the passion and spirit found in every high school across America, on every sideline, in every halftime show, during every season. One of the company’s main goals is to create more opportunities for students to participate in music and performing arts with an eye on crowd engagement, creativity, and belonging to something bigger than themselves.

“Varsity Performing Arts is excited to partner with DCI to introduce SoundSport® in a scholastic setting,” said Ben Schroeder, Manager for Varsity Performing Arts. “As ‘Marching Music’s Major League,’ DCI has fostered a pursuit of excellence and created an environment known internationally as the pinnacle of the art form for Marching Arts.”

Learn more about hosting, adjudicating or participating in future SoundSport® Scholastic events, or becoming an official affiliate circuit partner.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will this affect the Drum Corps International Summer Tour schedule?
This program is independent of current DCI competition, and will not interrupt the DCI Summer Tour schedule. “Marching Music’s Major League” is engaging in this reimagined experience in the fall for marching bands and musical ensembles. The best that we can bring, we are bringing to the fall.

How does this partnership affect current participant SoundSport® teams?
This will not affect current summer tour DCI SoundSport events. The reimagined SoundSport® Scholastic events will expand performance opportunities to a wide variety of scholastic teams in addition to pre-existing independent teams. The goal with this partnership is to increase participation across multiple performing arts categories with new scholastic environments in mind.

How do the SoundSport® Scholastic events differ from existing competitive marching band events?
While the foundation of the new SoundSport® Scholastic events is based on excellence in the marching arts, with similar components to existing marching band events, this new series will focus on expanding the accessibility of performance opportunities and variety of styles. It also offers the possibility of lowering traditional barriers to entry for participants including cost, travel, and logistics.

How can performing ensembles become involved in these new SoundSport® Scholastic events?
Stay tuned for more information regarding event locations, dates, and categories. If you would like to sign up to be the first to know about 2021 events, we invite you to fill out this interest form.

When will new SoundSport® events be available for registration?
To be the first to know about registration availability, we invite you to fill out this interest form.

How will this affect existing partners of DCI?
This strategic partnership will in no way affect the existing partnerships with Drum Corps International. This partnership is dedicated to offering a wide breadth of scholastic performance opportunities on the SoundSport stage.

What does it mean to be an “affiliate” program for Varsity Performing Arts?
Becoming an affiliate circuit allows existing circuits and events to offer SoundSport® Scholastic opportunities at a local level. For more information, we invite you to fill out this interest form.

Who is Varsity Performing Arts?
Bringing together the sights and sounds of the school, Varsity Performing Arts fuels the passion and spirit found in every high school across America, on every sideline, in every halftime show, of every season. A division of Varsity Spirit, Varsity Performing Arts is dedicated to increasing safety, lowering the barrier of entry for participants, and fostering lifelong participation among scholastic musicians. Varsity Performing Arts engages scholastic music performers through diverse opportunities in education, performance, and community engagement.

Who is Varsity Spirit?
Memphis-based Varsity Spirit, the driving force behind cheerleading’s dynamic transformation into the high-energy, athletic activity it is today, is the leading global source for all things spirit, including cheerleading, dance team and performing arts. A division of Varsity Brands, Varsity Spirit is a leader in uniform innovation, as well as educational camps, clinics and competitions, impacting more than a million athletes each year. Focused on safety, entertainment and traditional school leadership, Varsity Spirit’s 5,000+ employees have been dedicated to celebrating school spirit through its brands since 1974.

Author: Chris Weber

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