An Orchard Park 16-year-old returned to her stomping grounds among some of the best drum corps in the world. Taylor Hartman, a member of the color guard of the Boston Crusaders, performed in front of 10,000 plus at New Era Field Sunday evening.
“I was watching out the window on the bus on the way here, I’m very shocked that I’m back,” Hartman said. “It’s amazing because I’ve always seen the field, I’ve just never been on it.”
The Crusaders and other teams are performing in the Drums Along the Water Tour of Champions, their final of 130 performances in the regular season. The 10 teams performing Sunday were the 10 best amateur marching arts corps in the world, ages spanning from 15-years-old to 22.
“It’s kinda crazy, leaving home for three months, like I’m so you used to it and I haven’t even been to college yet," Hartman said.
Finding her place on the team was no easy objective.
"There's about 900 people that audition per 150 spots so it's a very rigorous and elite audition process to make one of these performing ensembles," Matthew Tichy said, Director of Production and Media for the tour.
While Hartman is only an alternate this season, she hopes ot play more of a pivotal role with the Crusaders next summer.