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Show will be ‘special’ for Dixon graduate

Karin Lee will lead the Pioneer Drum & Bugle Corps at Sunday event

Karin Lee
Karin Lee

DIXON – Before Karin Lee leaves for Germany, and before she finishes her time in a drum and bugle corps, she’ll return to Dixon.

Lee, a 22-year-old Dixon native who graduated from the University of Illinois this year, is the drum major for the Pioneer Drum & Bugle Corps, based in Milwaukee.

The corps will perform on the football field at Dixon High School on Sunday during Petunia Festival. It’s the same field where Lee marched in high school, and where she graduated on 4 years ago.

“It’s so special to me,” she said of the opportunity to perform in front of her home crowd. “I can’t even tell you how excited I am.”

Lee’s career with the Pioneer corps started in 2012. But her love for drum and bugle corps started here in Dixon, when she was young and her father, Doug Lee, took her to drum corps shows.

But in college, she didn’t think she would have the opportunity to join a corps. It took some encouragement from a friend to get Lee to start emailing corps to see who would take her on.

She is in her final year with the corps and was named drum major this year. The job means she’s “pretty much the glue” for the corps, she said.

Lee conducts or handles the metronome during practices, she wakes the band members up when they’re on the road and serves as the face of the corps, in addition to myriad other small duties, she said.

She interviewed for the position with a small committee of former drum majors and other corps members, she said, and was excited when she heard the news.

“I freaked out,” she said. “I was at school student teaching, and I had to go outside and yell and call my parents.”

Lee graduated with a degree in music education and a minor in German, and by Sept. 1, will be in Koblenz, Germany, where she will spend a year teaching English as part of being named a Fulbright scholar.

After Sunday’s performance, Lee will have about 20 more before she leaves for Germany. When she returns to the States, she said, she wants to teach music.

“I’ve never been out of the country before,” Lee said. “I just love things that I can jump in with both feet and not even look.”

Take a seat

The 50th anniversary drum and bugle corps show will begin at 6 p.m. Sunday at A.C. Bowers Field at Dixon High School, 300 Lincoln Statue Drive.

General admission tickets cost $12.

Reserved seats – the lower six rows – are $20 each.

Premium seats – the upper five rows in Sections C, D and E between the 35-yard lines – are $25.

Tickets are available at or at the Dixon Main Street office, 115 S. Hennepin Ave.

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