Chris DeBerry returns to Music City in 2018 to serve as percussion caption head for a fourth season. This will mark DeBerry’s eighth season with the corps, having served as a snare tech and battery coordinator before moving into the caption head role.
“I love seeing the talent and personalities that show up every year at auditions,” DeBerry said. “Those two things are the most important to me because it helps me understand the dynamic I need to teach to and it helps me project the level of success we want.”
Music City’s move to DCI World Class status hasn’t changed the approach of DeBerry, an educational artist for Innovative Percussion and Mapex/Majestic Percussion.
“Expectations, commitment and drive should always be at the highest level, regardless of what class we are in,” he said.
In addition to training for successful musical and visual performances, a focus for percussion in 2018 will be managing the unexpected issues that come with any drum corps tour.
“The expectation is we will be highly adaptable to any major or minor adjustments to our usual summer life,” DeBerry said. “It is very easy to lose sight of some basic components when a big move is made. The goal is to meet these challenges head on with no hesitation.”
DeBerry, who is in his fifth year working as a middle-Tennessee area band director, has an extensive background in the marching arts, including four years of playing snare with Music City Mystique, two years as a battery tech for the Glassmen drum corps, and as a contest judge.
“Percussion adjudication is an opportunity for me to give feedback, rank and rate, but it also helps me learn what is going on in the world of percussion education,” he said. “There is always some kind of cool trend happening in the world of percussion and it’s great to be part of that world.”
Helping Music City continue to improve is something of a personal mission for Deberry, who grew up in Middle Tennessee.
“I keep coming back to Music City because it gives me a chance to pass on what I learned to my hometown and community,” he said. “I definitely remember watching DCI when it came to Murfreesboro or Nashville and thinking to myself, ‘I want to teach this one day.’ I never dreamt that it would bring me this far.”