Categories : Drumlines
Release Date: June 12, 2014
The FREE Players Drumline and Color Guard are a very unique group from Old Bethpage NY, that is based out of Family Residences and Essential Enterprises Theater Day Habilitation Program. What makes them such a unique group is that all of their members are from the special needs community.
Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. (FREE) founded in 1977 and headquartered in Old Bethpage, benefits and proudly supports more than 3,500 individuals with intellectual disabilities, mental illness and traumatic brain injury. It is the mission of FREE to help individuals of all abilities realize their full potential.
Brian Calhoun, a Music Habilitation Specialist at Family Residences, proposed a vision back in 2010 to start a Drumline at their Theater Program. He wanted to share his lifelong passion and experience of playing the drums with the individuals he worked with on a daily basis.
Today the FREE Players Drumline has 60 members, divided between 3 groups. In the past 4 years the FREE Players Drumline have performed on stages and parades all across Long Island NY. In 2013 they became the very 1st Special Needs group to perform at the Newsday Marching Band Festival in it’s 51 year history.
In April of 2014 the Drumline and Color Guard, will make history again, as the very 1st special needs group to perform in exhibition at the WGI (Winter Guard International) World Championships in Dayton Ohio before the Open Class and World Class Finals.
They want to show that they share the same passion for Drumline as their typical mainstream peers. They hope to continue to make history, alleviate prejudice, break down boundaries and show that everyone can communicate through music.