Dr. Mark Waymire, assistant professor of music education at The University of Southern Mississippi, was recently interviewed on behalf of the Spirit of Atlanta Drum Corps this summer at a Drum Corps International (DCI) competition.
During the interview, Waymire was asked about the comparison between teaching at Southern Miss and his DCI involvement. The interview was part of a presentation that was shown in more than 200 theaters across the United States.
“I hope my activity brings recognition to Southern Miss. How many opportunities as a university do we have to reach that many people? We are very proud of our school of music here and are constantly trying to better the program and the awareness of it,” says Waymire.
Drum Corps International began in 1972 as a result of competitive military bugle and drumming of World War I. After the war, veterans, regardless of education and qualification, began teaching music. They created community drum corps, which eventually evolved into DCI.
Waymire describes drum corps performances as “high energy and intense.” He also says that drum corps groups are a great resource for learning the art of teaching and performing. “Some of the best teaching you will ever see can be seen there (DCI),” says Waymire.
Waymire is the director of education and programming for the Spirit of Atlanta. The Spirit of Atlanta is composed of 150 members and 50 staff from all over the world. The corps is based out of Atlanta. Before competition season, an audition is held and then a camp is held in May. Several students from Southern Miss are apart of the Spirit of Atlanta and other drum corps.
A Baton Rouge, La. native, Waymire received his undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University, his master’s degree from Sam Houston State University and his doctorate from the University of Mississippi. He has taught at both the high school and college levels, has been a professor at Southern Miss for three years and taught drum corps for 19 years.