Donna Dennesen…that’s “D”, as in “dedication. A Massachusetts native, she marked her first season with the All-Girl Immaculate Conception Comets in 1963, unpacking the mysteries of the soprano bugle. By ’67, she was ready for the next step : solo soprano with the I.C. Rockettes, and on to the Blue Angels for the ’72 and ’73 campaigns. Thus ended “phase 1” for Donna.
Not content with being a one-trick-pony, she began to explore other drum corps roles, like becoming a staffer for 30 years for the Beverly, MA DCI show, co-founding and managing the 4 St. John’s WGI guards, helping to establish 2 tribute corps, one for the Beverly Cardinals and another honoring Arbella, the famous All-Girl unit from Salem, MA who had captured the DCI Class A Championship in 1979.
Despite these apparent detours, performance continued to call. In 2000, Donna joined the St. Kevin’s Emerald Knights Alumni on lead soprano for 2 seasons, moving on to become a lead and solo mellophone in the Crusaders Alumni, from 2002 to the present day.
Few people demonstrate the long-term, consistent loyalty to an activity as Donna Dennesen. Clearly, this kind of commitment takes dedication, but it requires even more than that. “D” can also stand for “drive”.