When Chris Holland joined the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps in 1986 as a member, he probably didn’t imagine he’d one day be its executive director, let alone the board chair of Drum Corps International (DCI).
DCI named Holland, the Boston Crusaders’ executive director since 2015, to the three-year position in February 2021.
Holland says as chair, he’s most looking forward to serving member organizations and “getting to know better the great people who turn the DCI dream into a reality for young people.”
Holland has a heavy drum corps pedigree, and even his family is deeply rooted in the activity. “Both of my brothers marched and my parents volunteered,” Holland says. His father, who grew up in Boston’s Charlestown section, was a corps member himself.
Beyond the Boston Crusaders, Holland also has experience working with Carolina Crown and Phantom Regiment, but his background outside the activity is unique. After teaching band and orchestra in Norwood, Massachusetts, Holland worked as a lawyer after receiving a J.D. He says his experiences in law and finance instilled strengths in areas like ethics, preparation and advocacy.
“Studying law really challenges and shapes your critical thinking skills,” Holland says.
As DCI approaches its 50th anniversary, Holland is looking to the future. He says he views everyone involved, from the board to the organization’s participating groups, as caretakers of the activity.
“We need to forge ahead together and commit to educational excellence, organizational and operational excellence, and of course on the field creativity and achievement,” Holland says.