FORT MILL — Newberry native and Winthrop University student Derek Vereen is in his second season with Carolina Crown, the defending 2013 Drum Corps International Champions.
Hundreds of young people from around the globe auditioned over this past winter to get a spot in the 150 touring company, including Vereen. Vereen said the audition process was exciting.
“It’s an entire weekend of learning audition phrases of choreography with different equipment such as dance, rifle, sabre, and flag,” he said. “I am involved with the color guard section of the drum corps.”
He draws upon experience from the Newberry Blue Brigade, for whom he marched in high school and he also relies upon experience he’s gained over the years in gymnastics.
“My gymnastics experience allowed me to stand out as a tumbler,” he said. “I’m a dance major at Winthrop University and I feel a lot of passion when dancing and I think the staff of the Color guard sees that.”
His future plans include completing his degree and then performing with dance companies such as Alvin Ailey or Cirque du Soleil.
“I’m familiar with acrobats, and Ariel silk, mostly circus styles of performance,” he said.
Vereen brings that flair for the dramatic to Carolina Crowns, a nonprofit group celebrating its 25th year of participation in the drum and bugle corps activity this summer.
The Carolina Crown tour consists of 29 cities, throughout 20 states, and includes their home sponsored show, “NightBEAT” at American Legion Memorial Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., on July 27. That show features the top four units from last year’s championships.
Vereheen and his bandmates are training all summer for the 2014 Championships to be held Aug. 7 to Aug. 9 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind.
For more information on the Carolina Crown and performances near here, visit www.CarolinaCrown.org.