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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Nashua’s Spartans Drum & Bugle Corps performs at Stellos Stadium

NASHUA – Members of the Spartans Drum & Bugle Corps gave friends and family members a preview of their show for the upcoming season at Stellos Stadium on Sunday.

Titled “Olympus,” the program offers a musical interpretation of five notable figures from Greek mythology. Beginning with a fanfare for Hades, the god of the underworld, the program moves into themes for Aphrodite, the love goddess; Apollo, god of the sun, poetry and music; his twin sister, Artemis, goddess of the hunt; and Zeus, the supreme deity of the ancient Greeks. ...

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NASHUA – Members of the Spartans Drum & Bugle Corps gave friends and family members a preview of their show for the upcoming season at Stellos Stadium on Sunday.

Titled “Olympus,” the program offers a musical interpretation of five notable figures from Greek mythology. Beginning with a fanfare for Hades, the god of the underworld, the program moves into themes for Aphrodite, the love goddess; Apollo, god of the sun, poetry and music; his twin sister, Artemis, goddess of the hunt; and Zeus, the supreme deity of the ancient Greeks.

Gearing up for their 59th season, the Spartans, headquartered in Nashua, invited performers from Symphony NH and the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Nashua to join them on the field Sunday for their annual friends and family day.

Spartans director Paul LaFlamme said the event is geared at helping the group stay visible in Nashua, where it has few opportunities to perform for a hometown crowd during the competition season.

“We just hope that anybody and everybody that would like to take part in it will show up,” he said.

Performers fly to Nashua from across the country to spend the summer training and competing with the group. The season begins with rehearsals in January, February and April, followed by extensive weeks of learning the marching drill outdoors in the spring.

The group will participate in 16 competitions on the Drum Corps International circuit between now and mid-August.

The Spartans are currently 118 members strong, including 48 brass players, a full battery and 30 color guard members.

“We are able to take up a large part of the field and really bring the audience on to the field,” LaFlamme said.

Claire Lavallee, 19, of Montreal, Canada, is participating in her third season with the Spartans. She said she loves performing with the group, and delights in the reactions from the crowd.

“This year’s harder,” she said. “A lot of fast tempos, but I love it.”

The Spartans organization was launched in Milford in 1955 by LaFlamme’s grandfather, Albert “Berdie” LaFlamme. The organization has turned out gold medal-winning performances in recent years, but also weathered financial difficulties.

With the Spartans now on more stable footing, LaFlamme said the drum corps program provides a valuable outlet for many teens and young adults, and was an influential part of his own adolescence.

“If I didn’t have this, I never would have found my own sense of team, my own sense of self-confidence, the leadership skills that I developed,” he said.

Jim Haddadin can be reached at 594-6589 or jhaddadin@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Haddadin on Twitter (@Telegraph_JimH).