UW-EC's Simpson Field

The Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps is training at Simpson Field on UW-Eau Claire’s upper campus.

David Lofy says two educational entities shaped him into the person he is today — the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps.

Lofy, a 2017 UW-Eau Claire music education graduate, is programs director for the Madison Scouts and is leading the premier drum and bugle corps in its summer training at UW-Eau Claire’s Simpson Field through the end of this month.

“To have these two worlds collide is wonderful,” Lofy says in a UW-Eau Claire news release. “The members of the Madison Scouts have a world-class facility to learn at, and in return, we get to share our performances with the Eau Claire community. The university and city of Eau Claire have always embraced the arts. I can’t think of a better place for us to learn our production.”

According to the release:

The 165-member drum and bugle corps is composed of performers ages 15-22 from 29 states and three countries, including Japan.

The Eau Claire community is invited to attend two public performances and two dress rehearsals of the unit at Carson Park, and two public viewing opportunities at Simpson Field. All of the events are free to attend; donations will be accepted at the July 24 rehearsal. Following are public opportunities to see the Madison Scouts:

• Carson Park rehearsals: 7:30-10 p.m. Saturday, July 17, and (in full uniform) from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, July 24.

• Carson Park performances: 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Saturday, July 24.

• Simpson Field viewings: 7-10 p.m. Sunday, July 18, and an as-yet-undetermined time on Sunday, July 25.

Community members are asked to adhere to all university COVID-19 guidelines and maintain physical distancing from performers and staff. Visitors should park in the Towers lot and bring their own lawn chairs.

UW-Eau Claire was selected as a training site for the drum and bugle corps because of its excellent housing accommodations and rehearsal facilities for the performers and educational staff, Lofy says. Simpson Field’s new turf ensures the performers have a safe field for marching, Lofy added.

The unit trains daily at Simpson Field with the non-public practices ending at 10 p.m.

Kyran Hamill, UW-Eau Claire’s camps and conferences manager in University Centers, complimented Lofy and Dr. Randal Dickerson, professor of music and director of the Blugold Marching Band (BMB), for collaborating to help make the Madison Scouts’ summer training at UW-Eau Claire possible.

“It’s exciting to be able to welcome visitors to our campus and our community,” Hamill says. “Being able to offer free public opportunities to a concert is pretty cool.”

The Madison Scouts and BMB are exploring the possibilities of developing a summer marching band camp in future years.