If you’re a fan of music legend, James Brown, one of his catch phrases from many of his iconic songs is, “Give The Drummer Some”! When he says this, it’s time for the drummer’s solo. And so the story goes…Its time to Give the FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps some Drummer Time!
I’m so excited because the FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps of Long Island is about to show the world how talented they are at a national competition. The group that’s made up of people with disabilities is so good that they couldn’t be denied a spot.
The Drum and Bugle Corps’ members attend a non-profit theater program each day. I wasn’t even aware that a theater day program existed. Talk about beating the monotonous of the everyday. I wish there were more out of the box programs like this one. It would make it better if they opened it up to all people, not just for persons with disabilities.
As a person with a disability, I must admit, sometimes I feel I must prove myself to have a seat at the table. I felt like this a lot when I was younger, not so much now, because I’m older and feel more confident in my abilities. When I first started emceeing Ohio’s Developmental Disabilities Awareness and Advocacy Day in Columbus at the Statehouse, I heard that there was a little push back due to my speech impairment but as fate would have it, I got the job. I have been rocking many mics ever since. All people with disabilities need opportunities and reasonable accommodations. Give us that, and we’ll take it from there.
The FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps group will be competing with every other drum group. This is an all inclusion competition. Some drum members will even get the opportunity to compete individually in solo competitions.
If you ask me, this is the way the world is supposed to be. Not everything in life needs to be deemed “special” in-order for a person with a disability to partake. I keep telling people, “I’m just like you”! I have wants and needs same as you. If there’s something I really want or need to do, best believe I’m going to make things happen just like this drum group.
The drum group will be competing in the world championships. They will be the first to make history next year in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. I hope they win it all, but if not, they’re already winners. They are great at their craft of drumming and putting it out there for people to recognize.