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Submitted by Meghan Torjussen on Tue, 06/19/2007 - 10:52pm.

The lights were burning late at North Brunswick High's stadium tonight, but it wasn't because of the football team.

It was loud and lively but it wasn't the school marching band either. It was one of the country's finest drum and bugle corps. Spirit from Jacksonville State University in Alabama.

The key to this activity is dedication. A bus seat and a sleeping bag on a gym floor is the transportable home for a summer for these high school and college age musicians.

Band director Mark Riel invited them to stop by his school for a reason.

"It's really a great opportunity for our kids and the community to see and hear some of the best talent in the country," Riel said.

It's good enough to attract Wilmington native Kody Reeves to join this group from Alabama. Reeves is in the drum line.

"It's been a great experience," Reeves said, "I'll see the entire country, make some great friends. I'll learn a lot and get really good on my instrument and I'll get well trimmed up physically."

After ten hours of practicing in our heat, Spirit put on the uniforms and put on a show for their hosts.

Spirit will be competing along with the Boston Crusaders in Benson on Thursday night. That show will be at 7:30 at West Johnston High School. All of this ultimately leads these young people to the Drum Corps International World Championship at Pasadena's Rose Bowl in August.

NewsChannel Three's Steve Rondinaro will be hosting the broadcast of that contest on ESPN2.

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