Building a lasting legacy
In March 2021, Michigan Drum Corps Scholarship Fund cofounder Jason Fritz passed away after a motorcycle accident. Several months later, we continue to mourn his death. He was a mentor for us, a pillar of the Michigan band community, and a steadfast supporter of the activity and his students.
We will miss his presence and wisdom forever, but Jason’s legacy of optimism and leadership call us to look forward and continue to serve others. And so, it is with pleasure that we announce the beginning of the Jason Fritz Memorial Endowment. The endowment will support a scholarship program for DCI drum majors.
Jason’s fundamental philosophy for his marching bands was that they belonged to his students, not him. His role was to be a steward of the program and to provide instruction and guidance. It would be what they wanted it to be, above all else. Rising out of this belief, student leadership was important to him. Section leaders and drum majors influence not only how good a band can become, but also its dedication to core values of inclusivity and personal growth. What young band members learn from their student leadership is more important than playing with a good tone or subdividing before an entrance.
It is only natural, then, that the endowment will support a scholarship program for student leaders. Specifically, those who are, or are auditioning to become, DCI drum majors. Being a drum major for a DCI drum corps is an outstanding educational opportunity for young leaders, and they will learn lessons that will carry them forward for the rest of their lives. Jason believed this kind of deep, experiential learning is the most important part of the pageantry arts.
Fundraising for the Jason Fritz Memorial Endowment is now open, and we will be accepting donations through September. Once the funding window has closed, the Michigan Drum Corps Fund Board of Directors will establish an endowment fund with all the raised funds. This fund will be invested and the returns will support annual scholarships for DCI drum majors. We are primarily accepting donations through paypal, but we can also accept other forms of payment. Please reach out to us if you have any questions.
The Jason Fritz Memorial Endowment is our way of thanking Jason for his service to others, and ensuring that we honor his legacy by building something lasting and impactful. It is our hope that, by continuing to embody and live by the values Jason taught us, that some part of him will never die. We would be humbled if you would join us.