Luke Pickle picked for prestigious drum corps

Sophomore+Luke+Pickle+plays+euphonium+for+the+Edmond+Memorial+Wind+Ensemble+and+has+officially+signed+a+contract+with+The+Academy+Drum+and+Bugle+Corps+for+their+2019+season.+
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Luke Pickle picked for prestigious drum corps

Sophomore Luke Pickle plays euphonium for the Edmond Memorial Wind Ensemble and has officially signed a contract with The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps for their 2019 season.

Sophomore Luke Pickle plays euphonium for the Edmond Memorial Wind Ensemble and has officially signed a contract with The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps for their 2019 season.

Angelo Lopez

Sophomore Luke Pickle plays euphonium for the Edmond Memorial Wind Ensemble and has officially signed a contract with The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps for their 2019 season.

Angelo Lopez

Angelo Lopez

Sophomore Luke Pickle plays euphonium for the Edmond Memorial Wind Ensemble and has officially signed a contract with The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps for their 2019 season.

Cora Adams, Memorial Staff Writer

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Memorial sophomore Luke Pickle has begun an experience only a fraction of band students have been able; taking on the challenge of participating in a Drum Corps International (DCI) group: The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps for their 2019 season.

DCI is a professional marching organization founded in 1972 that coordinates drum corps, also known as marching bands, to compete in Indianapolis, Indiana for the title as International Champions. While drum corps only allow brass players to join, DCI groups also limit the age of participants to 22 years of age and younger so the time is ticking for students to participate in the rigorous physical and musical audition process.

“I woke up to an email from the head brass captain saying I made it and I ran out of my room to tell my family; it was pure disbelief,” Pickle said.

Though high school band accepts all members of any performance level, The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps only accepts players who can pass the auditions, callbacks and camps that are held throughout the year. All applicants work through the constant behavioral, musical and physical evaluations in hopes to receive the email presenting their results: a contract.

“With high school band, the staff treats us like high schoolers respectively,” Pickle said. “At (The Academy) camps, most people are college students so the staff knows they can trust us. The music and visual stuff we do is harder as well, high schools probably wouldn’t be able to do it.”

The Pickle family knew of Luke’s musical potential from his days as a musician in the sixth grade.

“Luke didn’t really have any particular interest in music as a young kid, but his brother was in band in high school and even majored in music in college,” father David Pickle said. “He discovered he was quite good at it and it’s been very important to him ever since.”

Though Luke has participated in Memorial’s marching band for the past two years, he has been searching for more opportunities to grow as a musician and marcher.

“(DCI) looked like so much fun and the prospect of playing and marching for 12 hours a day seemed amazing to me,” Pickle said.

Although there are 45 drum corps who compete, Luke always had a desire to join The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps.

“The Academy’s show themes have been consistently some of my favorites for the past few years and their uniforms are amazing as they are usually wearing a variation of a tuxedo,” Luke said. “They’re not too high tier that I could not make it and not too low tier that it wouldn’t be a challenge; a nice medium.”  

Ability to strive for such an out of reach opportunity like DCI begins with the individual’s passion for work. Low Brass section leader, junior Gavin Welch saw this in Luke since his first day in Memorial’s marching band.

“I think Luke is different because he truly enjoys the process and will work outside of band more than others,” Welch said.

The Pickle family is excited to help in any way to provide Luke opportunities to follow his passions.  

“His mother and I are really excited that he will have this opportunity,” David said. “We think that as a member of a drum corps he will have an experience that few people his age will have. Of course as parents, we’ll worry about him while he’s away from home, but we know he is capable of taking care of himself.”

With his band family being his largest support system, Pickle is looking forward to further opportunities to find his career path towards creating his own Oklahoma drum corps.  

“They have donated so much for my tuition and encouraged me to continue even when I was not confident I was going to make it and now they are continuing their support when I need it most,” Pickle said.

To support Luke’s passion for The Academy, donations are accepted on his GoFundMe. With a goal of $4,000, Memorial band kids and alumni are donating in the double digits to help him achieve his goal of participating in The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps on their 2019 Tour of Champions leading up to their international competition in Indianapolis.

Contact Cora Adams at [email protected]

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