Hello friends and phamily!
It’s that time of year again! We are closing out 2020 and looking toward the future of our organization into 2021 and beyond. The past year has proven to be one of unprecedented change, not just for the performing arts community but everyone around the world. This has deeply impacted our lives, communities, and the organizations that we love.
Phantom Regiment has been impacted by this pandemic in ways we never could have predicted. However, we have seen YOU, our alumni and phans, help us stay true to our mission throughout this very different year.
The phrase “it takes a village” has never been more true than in 2020. Some might think that during a shutdown we would not be very busy. This was definitely not the case.
Our first goal, of course, was to find ways to continue our mission of providing life-changing experiences through the performing arts. This included reimagining our programs to (quickly) become all-virtual. Our educational staff members were challenged with developing the curriculum for these virtual events and they surpassed all expectations, providing the level of excellence we all expect of Phantom Regiment.
We were thrilled at the programs we were able to offer and look forward to utilizing everything we learned in 2020 for our in-person events in the future.
Here are some program highlights from 2020:
Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps
Our world-renowned Drum and Bugle Corps was devastated that it was not able to take the field this past summer. However, in true Phantom Regiment fashion, it did not let the canceled season get in the way of the members continuing to grow as people and performers. They participated in a virtual summer program where they were able to individually work on skills to push the corps toward getting back on the field. The staff and I could not have been more proud of how they persevered — and continue to persevere — throughout this entire situation!
Phantom Regiment Academy
While we were not able to hold our outstanding in-person educational camps this past summer, we still found ways to reach students across the country. Our virtual drum major and leadership clinics provided students with multiple days of instruction from some of the best educators in the country. We were delighted at the turnout and the positive response that we received!
Spearheaded by Phantom Regiment Academy director Stan Mauldin, we are thrilled about an opportunity to reach a different segment of students. The new ‘Expert Lesson Series’ provides valuable virtual instruction for beginning band students. The video series includes instruction on 10 instruments by some of the best educators in the industry. We are excited to reach this new audience and continue to promote the Phantom Regiment brand.
The Rockford Rhythm drumline continues to work and improve despite the fact that all performances for the group have been put on hold because of the pandemic. Program coordinator Deanna Severensen (Phantom Regiment Cadets alum) is continuing the excellence of Phantom Regiment programs by directing and facilitating the highest level of percussion education in the greater Rockford area. The lack of performances has not stopped Rockford Rhythm’s members from continuing to learn so they can be ready to perform at the next possible event.
While we are proud of how agile, flexible and creative our organization has been this year. The fight to keep Phantom Regiment strong isn’t over.
We continue to work with DCI and our fellow member organizations to evaluate what events can be safely held next summer. This pandemic has made one thing clear, we cannot rely on a single program to fund the organization. Thus, with all the details of 2021 still in flux, we have been busy creating new opportunities for life-changing performing arts experiences for young people throughout the world.
Still, these programs are new to our organization and do not yet bring in the number of funds our yearly audition and member drum corps dues have traditionally made. In the past, these funds were vital to keeping us moving forward on a monthly basis. As we work to expand our sources of revenue, we are relying on the generosity of our community to keep us going.
We have made every effort to minimize monthly expenses, which included relocating our office and warehouse space as well as having to make tough decisions regarding staffing for the organization. Decisions such as these are never easy but have been essential to the organization’s survival over the past 9 months.
If there’s ever been a time where your financial support was needed, now is that time.
Thank you for helping us continue to achieve our mission and live our vision. Together, we will ensure the future of this incredible organization for many years to come!