NASHUA — For the first time in 12 years, the Spartans Drum and Bugle Corps of Nashua brought home the title of world champions.
Returning from a monthlong tour that culminated with the ultimate win at the Drum Corps International Open Class World Championship Finals, one of the band’s drum majors says the competition could not have been better.
“It was just an absolutely phenomenal experience. It has been such high energy with the group,” said Matt Mackay, one of two drum majors with the group. “The membership put in every ounce of work that they had. I could not have asked for anything more of them — they gave it their all and I gave it my all.”
The Spartans placed first in the open class division, with a final score of 81.050 at the world championship finals held in Marion, Ind. They returned from their trip early Monday morning.
“As a competitive activity, no one designs a program without winning in mind. Honestly, we just wanted to be better than we have been in the past. While that has been our goal each year, this time it just sailed away,” said Mackay, who just completed his fourth season with the Spartans.
Paul G. LaFlamme Jr., president of the Spartans, said the organization was relaunched about 10 years ago, explaining the group has been working diligently over the past decade to build something great.
“Each season is a stepping stone toward this final result, and each year we build on from that and every student along the way has helped bring this vision to fruition,” said LaFlamme. “It is a ton of work and a ton of dedication.”
This is the organization’s sixth World Championship title. The group is one of 48 members of Drum Corps International. The groups compete throughout the country each summer, according to a news release.
LaFlamme said the Spartans put their lives on hold each summer to compete, practicing eight to 12 hours a day, driving to show sites, sleeping on buses and loading and unloading props.
“At the end of the day, it is not necessarily all about winning, but putting together an educational and entertaining program so the kids have fun performing,” he said. “You could just tell from the moment of the first note to the last big hit that they were having fun.”
The Spartans include members who are ages 15 to 22, including more than 30 color guard members, 17 battery members, about 60 brass players and 16 front ensemble members.
The Spartans’ show this year, Experiment X, resulted in the best performance in Spartans history, according to LaFlamme.
“We are already gearing up for next season,” Mackay said just one day after returning home from the big win.