Cindy Young Maes is back in the band and couldn’t be happier about it.
Following a 35-year hiatus from being a member of a drum and bugle corps, Maes, a Class of 1976 graduate of Lynn Tech, decided to join the Crusaders Senior Drum and Bugle Corps.
Maes was a member of the St. Jean’s Jean-ettes (later the Jean-ettes of Lynn), an all-girl drum and bugle corps, while she was a student at Breed Junior High.
“I played the baritone and the contrabass (saxophone), which is an even bigger horn instrument,” recalled Maes. “We practiced at the Lynn Armory, Market Square at a place called the Pit atop of the hobby shop, and the GE Field on the Lynnway. At one point, there was an all-boy drum and bugle corps in Lynn called the Continentals.”
Maes said the corps entered and placed in several competitions at Manning Bowl and marched in several parades throughout the state.
“I gave it up in the eleventh grade – I just needed to take a break,” said Maes.
Four years ago, Maes decided she wanted to rejoin a drum and bugle corps and experience the camaraderie that she enjoyed so much back in Lynn in the 1970s.
“I’m doing what I love – I didn’t think so at first, but definitely yes,” said Maes.
The Crusaders do not participate in competitions but are regularly called on to perform at parades and other festive events.
“We perform every November in Plymouth, twice a year in Lawrence, Quincy, and New York,” said Maes. ‘We get invited to a lot of parades.”
Maes said it was her father, George Young of Lynn, who was instrumental in inspiring her to rejoin a drum and bugle corps. Young had been a quartermaster for the Jean-ettes, in charge of repairing the instruments.
“Every year my father would encourage me to get back in to it,” said Maes. “One day I was on the computer and found the Crusaders and now I love being a part of the group. My father is very happy I’m back.”
Maes spends her Sundays at four-hour rehearsals as the group prepares for its next gig in Lawrence.
The proud mother of three daughters, ages 33, 30, and 28, Maes said the musical skills came back even after all those years away from it.
“Even after 35 years in between performances, I was able to learn it again and start playing,” said Maes. “I can’t believe I’m back do it. I never thought I’d been doing it again. I think the lesson is that don’t ever give up on something you enjoy doing.”