G-A school complex hosts Madison Scouts

Shawn Hardy
Megan Hutera, who plays the flugelhorn, is the lone female among the more than 150 performers of the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps. SHAWN HARDY/ECHO PILOT.

An elite drum and bugle corps' first visit to Greencastle features a unique piece of the group's 80-year history.

The Wisconsin-based Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps used the Greencastle-Antrim School complex as a stop-over lodging and practice point for part of this week during a tour which continues through Pennsylvania and New York before ending in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Different components of the 150-plus member traditionally all-male group were spread out practicing on Kaley Field and other locations behind high school Tuesday morning.

Around 11, Megan Hutera walked out to join her fellow brass players, carrying her flugelhorn. Since the group was founded in 1938, this is just the fourth time there has been a female appearance, according to David Lofy, assistant corps director, noting the last time was in 2005.

The designers of this year's show "Heart and Soul" felt a female presence was a good way to express and bridge the two different elements.

A network of people reached out to Hutera and she was selected after a long audition process. The 20-year-old will be a junior at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire this fall. She is studying music education.

She indicated it is no big deal touring the country with a bunch of guys and noted the first show was on her birthday, June 23.

The group travels in five coach buses with a food truck, an equipment truck, a props truck and a couple of trailers, Lofy said.

Air mattresses and sleeping bags packed the floor of Greencastle-Antrim Middle School during the Scouts' stay.

The Madison ensemble was linked to Greencastle by Duane DeWire, an alumnus of the group, who also is involved with the Greencastle-Antrim High School marching band's show and is on hand for band camp, which is going on now.

Representatives of the Madison Scouts spent time with the G-A band, too, providing a clinic in their specialities along with leadership training.

"We are happy to share our music education knowledge," Lofy said.

"It's awesome we get to work with such a professional organization. This is one of the best drum corps in the world," said G-A Band Director Robert Bennett.