The staff of the Madison Scouts seized the opportunity to implement some fantastic programs during the past year that have helped boost the group’s anticipation all the more for a DCI return. In response to the 2020 DCI summer tour cancellation, the Madison Scouts educational team developed a virtual learning platform, MadU.
This newfound environment extended beyond just the Scouts, inviting any performing arts enthusiast wanting to improve overall performance skills, specific to their field. MadU has been imperative for these participants to learn and connect during a year of seclusion.
Not only have students had access to music and visual instruction, but have learned more about music composition, arranging, program coordination, and drill design, directly from the Madison Scouts team. In both group settings and one-on-one sessions, students welcomed advanced training from some of the best music and performing arts educators.
The Scouts Visual Designer, Noah Bellamy, taught the Drill Design and Staging course, guiding participants through the basics of Pyware to create their own production. Students entered the program with absolutely no drill writing experience and received hands-on design lessons.
Noah has gained an expertise of all the Pyware intricacies throughout a career designing for groups such as the Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps, Infinity Percussion and Stryke Percussion.
“The depth and possibilities that Pyware provides designers is truly amazing; I have manipulated the shortcuts and use various devices that have gotten me to the point where the program never slows me down,” he said. “I love that each year I dive into writing season, I learn a little more and get a little better at using the program and once those keys are unlocked, you realize that anything is possible when writing great drill.”
Noah advised students how to best utilize the tools and features of the software, pulling from his past experience.
“As we work through the semester, we are learning many tips and tricks that I have learned throughout my years of learning the program,” Noah explained. “The students that I have worked with have had such a great time learning about Pyware and how to use it and have created some truly inspiring products.”
The classes are broken down in a comprehensible manner, gradually building on the fundamentals of the software. By semester’s end, the goal is for students to have designed a full minute and a half of drill including guard, battery, horns, props, etc. The sample may be used for potential work opportunities as a drill writer.
“I have found so much joy in teaching these young students and I feel that they have found so much joy in learning to do something they never thought possible,” Noah stated.
The Scouts and MadU participants have spent this past year honing their skills and performing in virtual events, steadily preparing for a normal DCI season to come back. The entire performing arts community has felt the impact of a year away from the activity; it has taken a unique toll on designers…
“For designers, the outlet of creating shows is something that is needed in our lives; everyone has experienced a longing to get back to creating and performing as soon and as safely as possible,” Noah said.
The MadU network was a brilliant approach to maintaining the music arts fellowship and providing training opportunities throughout the past year. In-person performances have been terribly missed and the community is ecstatic to see groups return to action!
The Madison Scouts will be performing live late July and early August at the “Midwest Combine,” leading up to the DCI Summer Celebration taking place August 12-14 at Indianapolis’s Lucas Oil Stadium.
For more information, visit www.madisonscouts.org.