Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps Returns to Gardner-Webb for Annual Training

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World-Class Student Musicians to Spend a Month on University’s Campus

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Gardner-Webb University will welcome more than 150 student musicians and the sounds of a world-class drum and bugle corps this week as Carolina Crown returns to campus for its annual spring training.

Carolina Crown, a contender each year for the Drum Corps International (DCI) World Championship, has partnered with Gardner-Webb since 2007 for practice and rehearsal space prior to its national tours. The organization expects to enjoy its stay on the Boiling Springs campus more than ever this year, shared Nancy Barth, Carolina Crown’s director of operations and tour manager.

“We are looking forward to using that new turf field in the football stadium at Gardner-Webb,” Barth said. “Our kids move so quickly and so much during the course of rehearsals that they basically run a marathon every day. It’s very stressful on their ankles, their shins, their knees and their hips. To have a turf surface that is level will be easier on their bodies during training.”

Based in Fort Mill, S.C., Carolina Crown finished fifth in the 2014 DCI competition, following a world championship in 2013. This year’s group will move into Gardner-Webb housing this week and utilize the University’s facilities through June 14.

“What those kids experience in music education is one of the best programs out there,” explained Mark Cole, GWU assistant professor of music education and marching band director. “Their visit to Boiling Springs ends up being a bit of a recruiting opportunity for Gardner-Webb, and they’re a model for our students to watch. I tell people if they’re visiting here in the summer to watch Carolina Crown rehearse.”

The corps plans to perform a dress rehearsal and preview show for Gardner-Webb and the surrounding community on Saturday, June 13, at GWU’s Ernest W. Spangler Stadium. Additional details on the show will be available in the coming weeks.

“The people at Gardner-Webb have always been great,” Barth offered. “We enjoy having members of the community come and watch our ensemble rehearsals in the evenings. We feel fortunate that we’ve been able to develop a relationship with Gardner-Webb, and hopefully we add something to the Gardner-Webb environment while we are there each year.”

For more information about Carolina Crown, visit or “like” Carolina Crown on Facebook.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University offers a comprehensive academic experience that introduces students to the diverse world of ideas and to the people who think them, preparing them for professional success and for productive citizenship.