Merrimac residents win top title at drum corps finals

Courtesy photo Brandon Berube, left, and Casey Saitow, both of Merrimac, show the awards they received in a national drum corps competition. 

MERRIMAC – Residents Casey Saitow and Brandon Berube will head back to school this fall as world champions after winning the title last week as members of the Spartans Drum and Bugle Corps at the Drum Corps International Open Class World Championship Finals in Marion, Indiana.

Saitow, a Pentucket Regional High School graduate and senior at Merrimack College, is an eight-year veteran of the Spartans. He has been captain of the color guard for several years and participated in the age-out ceremony on Friday night at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, according to a press release.

Berube has been with the Spartans for three years and was the trombone soloist in the show this year. He returns to Pentucket this fall as a senior.

The Spartans, based in Nashua, New Hampshire, are one of 48 members of DCI that compete throughout the country each summer. In addition to its six world championship titles, the Spartans won the bronze medal in open class in 2015, and placed fifth in the open class in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

“Each year, I am more and more amazed at the group of young people we work with,” said Paul LaFlamme Jr., president of the Spartans, in the release. “Their commitment, dedication, love of music and willingness to give up beach days and summer parties to work hard for 14 hours a day in the hot sun never ceases to amaze me.

“This year’s corps is no different,” he added. “They worked hard, they left it all on the field, and together with our staff, they brought another world championship home. I couldn’t be more proud of them all.”

DCI accepts high school and college students ages 15 to 22. While many of the members participate in their school’s marching band or other ensemble, it is not a prerequisite. 

The Spartans will host audition camps in November and December for anyone interested in learning more or joining the corps for the 2020 season.

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