Created in 2021 to honor the life and legacy of Gail Schultz, long-time drum corps personality and avid supporter of international participation in the U.S. drum and bugle corps activity, the Gail Schultz International Fellowship seeks to support international students who wish to participate in U.S.-based Drum Corps International organizations while committing to making a long-lasting contribution to music education and drum corps in their home communities. Gail's deep passion for global stewardship and international participation is known and respected worldwide.
This year's list of applicants was most impressive, and it was a tough decision. Still, the committee feels both recipients exemplify the spirit of Gail, a mentor, supporter, and graceful ambassador of numerous International students for over 45 years with The Blue Devil organization. Even though Gail left us in 2020, her kindness continues to positively impact numerous lives near and far.
We proudly announce two recipients of the 2023 Gail Schultz International Fellowship.
Lauren Kent-Walton - Great Britain - Color Guard - Nashua Spartans
Lauren is 19 and a student at the University of Chester. She grew up in Northampton, England, a town about an hour north of London, and also the place where she was first exposed to drum corps. She has done presentations in schools, taught Color Guard as part of a free, 6-week after-school program for 9–11-year-olds, presented weekly workshops for children in her local community to promote activity during the covid lockdown, and participated in promotional community events. Her goals for this season with the Spartans are to challenge herself further by auditioning for the weapon line to widen her repertoire and also further increase technique she can teach at home. Lauren states, "I am looking forward to developing myself further for personal growth and also the growth of the groups I am associated with at home. I will use my experience to continue to expose my local community to the marching arts and demonstrate what is possible through hard work".
Misaki Nagasaka - Japan - Euphonium - The Blue Devils
Misaki started playing in the marching band in elementary school when she was eight years old. Since then, she was attracted to DCI in the U.S., which she saw online. And playing there was also her dream. After entering middle school, she continued marching on a local team. There she met outstanding teachers from Santa Clara Vanguard and The Blue Devils. Seeing the children's expressions and skills change into a different person after a short period of instruction; she strongly felt she wanted to become such a teacher and show designer. Misaki states, "Society is changing day by day due to pandemics and work style reforms for schoolteachers, and the situation surrounding marching band in Japan is becoming more and more difficult." She happened upon marching band in elementary school, and her life changed dramatically for the better. Misaki states, "Through studying arts management at university, I think about how performing arts such as marching can be connected to the community and developed in the future society. I continue to perform in Japan and the U.S. in order to learn more about both technical and human skills".
The Gail Schultz International Fellowship is funded through the generosity of family, friends, and drum corps fans worldwide. To learn more, contribute, or apply, please visit: https://bluedevils.org/support/gail-fellowship/
2022 Inaugural Recipients:
- Sean Molloy - Ireland - Trumpet - Boston Crusaders
- Kairi Watanabe - Japan - Quad Drummer - Blue Devils