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Mena Graduate Earns Silver as Member of Santa Clara Vanguard


Chase Fielder, a 2015 graduate of Mena High School, is a member of the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps that has won several accolades, including silver in the recent Drum Corps International (DCI) World Championship August 2017. Fielder was a member of the Mena High School Band from 7th – 12th grade, where he played clarinet and became a member of Mena High School Color guard during his Junior and Senior years.

The 2017 Drum Corps International Tour reached its peak August 7 – 12, with a week-long celebration of the very best in marching music at the DCI World Championships in Indiana. Santa Clara’s Colorguard, that includes Fielder, took the George Zingali Award for High Colorguard, best overall color guard in the championship, along with their silver.

After high school, Fielder entered the University of Central Arkansas, where he studies nursing, and joined the UCA color guard and the Aevitas and Black and Gold Winter Guards for one year each, then went on to join the Crossmen Drum Corp.

In 2016, he auditioned and made the Santa Clara Vanguard team out of California. When the 2017 season opened up for the Vanguard — who presented a daring program called “In Pieces” — on June 23, in Clovis, California, a gap of nearly three points stood between themselves and the defending Open Class Champions, Blue Devils B. Over the weeks that followed, the Santa Clara Corps began to gradually chip away.

In Michigan City, Indiana, the Vanguard Cadets completed their season-long comeback at the Open Class World Championship Finals to notch their first Open Class title since 2015.“These young people and this staff are the toughest people and most dedicated people I’ve met in my life,” Vanguard Cadets Director Steve Barnhill said. “They can do anything if they want to. They’re amazing people and I love them all, it’s an honor to lead them.”

The Santa Clara Vanguard are the 2017 DCI World Class Silver Medalist, with a score of 97.600.  The group has traveled all summer performing and competing in various events.  “It was the hardest thing I have ever done. You rehearse 12 to 14 hours every single day for three months just to perform at the World Championship, just so you can show the world your finished product, because the show is constantly evolving and getting better.  You don’t care about the scores, its about improving your own self and doing what you love with the people that you have come to love,” said Fielder.

The climax of the season was the Drum Corp International World Championship, where a record-breaking audience for the DCI World Championship Open Class Finals in Michigan City witnessed Santa Clara Vanguard win the silver in this year’s Drum Corps International World Championship.

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