Barik, Clark take global, national stages with prestigious drum corps


New Tech senior Mason Clark poses for the Boston Crusaders on Aug. 1 in Lawrence, Mass. Clark’s outfit is a Crusader, a medieval fighter. Clark wields his tuba in the left hand and the right up in the air. Photo courtesy Mason Clark

Ryan Dyke, Staff Writer

Coppell High School senior color guard captain Kiran Barik wakes up in the cafeteria of a school in Indianapolis. Her day begins early, performing for an audience of strangers. Barik is part of the Blue Stars, an international drum corps.

New Tech senior Mason Clark gets ready for his first performance, a show being broadcast worldwide for millions to see. Clark walks out into the stadium carrying his tuba. Clark is a part of the Boston Crusaders, another international drum corps.

Over her summer, Barik was given the opportunity to perform with Blue Stars Drum Corps. She journeyed across the country, sleeping in hotels and high school cafeterias. 

Over his summer, Clark was given the chance to perform with the Boston Crusaders Drum Corps. The Boston Crusaders, CHS marching band and Blue Stars are all participants in Drum Corp International, a competition with teams from all over the world. Barik is the only CHS student on both teams, and the only high schooler on Blue Stars.

“In December, I had to go to a one-day-experience camp as my first audition,” Barik said. “[The camp] is where they decide if you get a contract or not, and I got [my contract] right off the bat, which is pretty exciting. In April, I went to Indiana for a weekend, where we got this mini experience of eating, sleeping and doing a full drum corps day. My full season started in May.”

To get into drum corps, Barik and Clark went to two auditions, paid the drum corps $4,000 and traveled for three months.

“[Barik] works so hard when she is doing color guard,” CHS senior drum major Catherine Yang said. “Color guard is one of the hardest things you can do, and [Barik] does it so well. I just knew she would do so well in the drum corp.”

Barik and Clark’s journey with the drum corps was filled with practices and performances. Barik was alerted to drum corp by CHS band director Gerry Miller. Miller is also one of 50 judges in the United States that rates the drum corps’s performances, Barik and Clark’s included. 

Clark had planned to go into drum corps for a long time and discussed his plans with Yang.

“We both have and interest in drum corps and we find it really cool. I knew [Clark] was working towards it.” Yang said. “I just heard about [Clark] getting his contract and preparing for the season.

When Clark came home after his summer full of traveling and performing he looked at the world with a new perspective and experiences. 

“Common things such as driving a car, sleeping in a bed and showering alone were things I had never had over the summer.” Clark said. “Spending 24 hours everyday with the same people for 85 days straight, I made some pretty good friends. Then all of a sudden, I wouldn’t be able to see most of them ever again. That was difficult for me.”

As her summer came to a close and Blue Stars ended, a new Barik came home. This version was emboldened by her passion, experience and hope for the generation of students after her.

“I knew I wanted to join the Blue Stars to push myself, take it to the next level. Coming back from [the Blue Stars], I am able to take the base and build upon it. Hopefully, I can spread the information and that passion to the kids who are to come after me,” Barik said. “Now that I am a captain, I hope I can express that to those younger than me.”

Editor’s note: This story has been changed from its original form. The Sidekick apologizes for the mistakes and regrets the errors. 

Coppell High School senior Kiran Barik (center) performs with Blue Stars Drum Corps that performs in front of a live audience at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Aug. 10. The performance’s theme is exploration, as Barik’s garb represents mountains being explored. Photo courtesy Kiran Barik.