Lee Carlson Becomes New Drum Corps International Artistic Director

Lee Carlson

Tapping into his experiences as a performer, instructor, and judge, Lee Carlson plans to continue encouraging corps creativity as the new Drum Corps International (DCI) artistic director.

Carlson has been involved in the marching arts since he was 14 years old, performing with the Chicago Royal Airs. He has worked nearly 35 years with the University of Southern California Trojan Marching Band, 25 years directing the color guard and the last 10 years as the drill designer. He was also a DCI visual caption head judge and judge coordinator.

“I plan to continue to … encourage the creative side of the [drum corps] staff, the directors, the visual coordinators, and program coordinators to be diverse and find themselves or find their own voice,” Carlson says.

In addition, Carlson says that he plans to evaluate the 12-year-old DCI judging system. While there isn’t anything specific that he wants to add or change at this moment, he wants judges to “be able to dig deeper and really expand on what they’re doing and give the kids credit for what they’re doing,” he says.

Carlson replaces Michael Cesario, who was the artistic director since 2010.

Photo courtesy of Drum Corps International.