Volunteers serve as the backbone of every drum corps, providing much-needed assistance and support to ensure that performing students can take part in the life-changing drum corps experience.

Drum Corps International’s Volunteer of the Year awards highlight some of the most devoted and hardworking individuals in all of Marching Music’s Major League — those whom, without their dedication, the spectacle just wouldn’t shine the same.

Following a selection process administered by Drum Corps International's Friends of DCI program, the following 2024 recipients will be recognized this August during the DCI World Championship Semifinals in Indianapolis.

Nathalie Fournier
Les Stentors

Nathalie Fournier

Nathalie Fournier

Fournier found her way to Les Stentors as the mother of a marching member in 2017, but was quickly immersed into volunteer operations, including kitchen duty. 

While Les Stentors didn’t participate in the 2018 DCI Tour, Fournier’s involvement did not waver; she played a key role in fundraising, and ultimately moved into a position on the Sherbrooke, Québec corps’ board of directors in 2019. In the time since, she has overseen volunteers for multiple fundraising events, continued contributing as a board member, and also served in the role of nurse practitioner. 

“Parents, kids and staff appreciate her unique and heartwarming personality,” Les Stentors director Gabriel Francoeur said. “They often mention how safe they feel knowing Nathalie’s there with their children.”

Since her recent retirement, Francoeur noted that Fournier is even more active with Les Stentors, helping out around the corps’ office amongst her other continued volunteer efforts.

“Nathalie is one the most generous and genuine people who I have been in contact with in my 42 years of drum corps,” Francoeur said. “The Stentors could not have the same kind of success and member and family appreciation without her by our side.”

Dr. Jake Levy
The Cavaliers

Dr. Jake Levy

Dr. Jake Levy

An alum of The Cavaliers in the early 1990s, Dr. Jake Levy’s volunteer efforts have since echoed across the entire drum corps community. 

Levy’s mental health expertise has been invaluable to the drum corps activity. A licensed psychologist and member of the University of Tennessee counseling psychology program faculty, Levy has offered insights and services to countless organizations and individuals across the activity.

“He has a strong desire to help drum corps students overcome mental health challenges,” said Brenda Brak, a member of The Cavaliers’ board of directors, “and have a positive life-changing drum corps experience.”

Since its formation in 2007, Levy has been instrumental in working with the Marching Arts Safety and Health Project (MASH), providing mental health expertise to various corps and offering numerous presentations and webinars to an array of drum corps constituents.

“The DCI activity flourishes because so many who have come from within the ranks of drum corps have given back to the activity and Jake is the perfect example of that,” MASH chairperson Laura VanDoren said. “Jake has become the face of DCI’s mental health endeavors for more than two decades and it is time to recognize Jake for his selfless and tireless work to improve mental healthcare within the drum corps activity.”

David Trombley
Carolina Crown

David Trombley

David Trombley

If there’s one thing that was always true of longtime Carolina Crown volunteer David Trombley, it is his consistency.

“One thing everyone could count on was knowing he was there morning, noon, and night with a smile and compassion for his dedication to the corps,” said members of the Cole family in a letter of recommendation. 

Trombley started volunteering with Carolina Crown at the corps’ “NightBEAT” DCI Tour event in 2011. He joined the corps’ team of volunteers for the remainder of that season, and the rest is history. 

Even after the shutdown of drum corps operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, Trombley still returns to various volunteer roles each summer, now having devoted more than a decade to the Fort Mill, South Carolina corps. 

In the years since, Trombley has worked in the corps’ food truck. Carolina Crown alum and current operations manager Ryan Brannan praised Trombley as a tireless worker and a source of positivity to fellow members of the Carolina Crown operation. 

“I can say without hesitation that in my 14 years at Crown, starting as a performing member and moving now into my role as operations manager, I have known very few people who are more deserving of this recognition than Dave,” Brannan said.