Cozy Down South!

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Meeting new drum corps enthusiasts from around the globe has been a very enjoyable aspect of this position. As the rapid growth of all-age organizations continues, I get to interact with many new friends, most bringing experience and talent that adds to the promotion of Drum Corps Associates.

One challenge is to keep abreast with everything going on across a broadening geography, and to become comfortable sharing ideas with each other. Unfortunately, it’s no longer possible to easily bring everyone together in person, on a regular basis. The next meeting of DCA administration and corps staff will be held in Scranton, Pennsylvania on April 22. That’s thirteen weeks since our last gathering! DCA relies heavily upon electronic communication to hold everything together.

This marketing and public relations effort will depend upon volunteer contributions of information. It was recently my pleasure to be introduced (electronically, of course) to Mr. Cozy Baker. Cozy, a long-time columnist for Drum Corps World, has been amusing me for years with his voluminous and unusual insights into all things drum corps.

I now discover Cozy, who regularly posts here as CozyChopsCom, has been lending a hand at DCA Championship events for several years. Hmmm . . . PR help on the way?

Now living in northern Alabama (Roll Tide! ) this transplanted Ohioan has volunteered to introduce us to DCA people and places he has come to know. You’ll find Cozy’s style to be a blend of history, current events, with a pinch of reference to familiar Drum Corps Planet posters. Entertaining for sure, kinda like DCA’s mission statement! Look for Cozy’s contributions to this column throughout the season. Continue to enjoy Cozy’s work with Drum Corps World. Good stuff!

Just back from a visit to the CorpsVets camp, Cozy filed this report:

Cozy’s DCA Planet

CorpsVets Feelin’ Good with Luck ‘n Ladies in the Copa

by Cozy Baker

Holy doves cooped up in dark drum cases! Not since Gen. Sherman hoisted bourbons and “Grantly” marched south of Manassas, torching a mile-wide path across Georgia and Tara, has there been such a sizzling hot time in the ol’ peach tree orchards of corpsdom. Pass the pecans.

Rallying around a Rat Pack of Hunter Moss, Jerald Sheets, Bill Wear, John Zaragoza, Jonathan Thomas, Big Ken Huff, Eric Landis, et al., the CorpsVets plan to erase laps of all ages at a show near you. March in some young firepower like Reggie Humphrey and A. J. Taylor, and CV looks and roars like a ’53 white/red interior Corvette cruisin’ down the Strip.

The CorpsVets will roll the dice in aught six with their Vegas extravaganza. Ten days post-Ides of March, this scribe caravanned yonder beyond Ken Bodiford’s and Dr. Chip Crotts’ Spirit Mecca of Jax State to Rockmart, GA, to hang with the CorpsVets, a DCAssociates South member. The Tornado might have gone to blast (in tune) with Music City Legend, but the “CVortex” remains, Feelin’ Good, looking even better. Executive Director Dave Stollberg, PhD, P.E., and his entire staff and members made me feel quite welcome, Frank.

Stollberg’s experienced staff includes: Gary Hopkins, program coordinator; TJ Maunder, Greg Teems, assistants; Dave Henry, brass caption head; Jeff Wright, Hunter Moss, assistants; Darryl Jones, Dave Henry, brass arrangers; and Jonathan Thomas, brass staff; Leif Marwede, percussion cap head; Vic Kulinski, Jr., snare tech; Tony Morales, bass tech; Chris Ozley, tenor/pit tech; Jay Bumgardner, pit tech; visual consultants Rodney Bailey, Bradley Hood, TJ Maunder, Greg Teems, Marvin Fontaine; viz staff Patrick Elmenthaler, Jared Smith; drum majors Marvin Fontaine and Greg Reems; Tom Colgan, ’66-’69 Brigs, business manager; and David Medeiros, ’73-‘76 Matadors and in his state Hall of Fame, gofor.

Empire Statesmen’s David Bruni, DM/honcho extraordinaire (yep, one of those World Hall o’ Famer dudes), sans tux, smiled into Rockmart International as program consultant. I had hoped Bruni would fly in. Sure ‘nuf, Bruni was the first person I ran into as I drove up.

Reems, Rockmart HS band director, serves as the proud host. Do the CorpsVets’ performers realize how fortunate they are to be mesmerized by Reems’ stupefying black ‘n white tile in the gargantuan cafeteria? Don’t spit spittle on his glistening gym hardwood, Sammy.

Jonathan Thomas won the aught five DCA Individual & Ensemble/Mini-Corps baritone solo bragging rights in the venue I announced, tooting aside David Desoto, Frontier; Dennis Tischhauser (I&EMC contra champ and bari duo champ with Cynthia Hoines), MBI; Christina Rohr, MBI; Eric Junod, Lakeshoremen; et al. Congratulations, Thomas! btw, ‘twas a most bodacious looow sound I heard from the entire CV bari/euph line that sizzled across to my ears on the other side of the arc, some with new LOUD mouthpieces. Centering the arc, the mellos were cooking with some challenging 16th note runs evilly charted by Jones & Henry. The contras cement a foundation that would make a Metropolitan Opera bass drool.

Want some inside CorpsVets scoop? Gather ‘round my warm www campfire and I’ll whisper just for your nosey ears these gleanings: Drill written for 56 horns, most spots X-xx assigned. Present in late March were 18 sopranos (6x6x6) + cozy visitor, seven mellos, eight baris/euphs, seven contras, and excused abscesses, uh, absences. You do the math: 18 + 7….

Vic Kulinski, Jr., heatedly has traded oranges for peaches to drive from the Sunshine State to work with Leif Marwede, percussion cap head, to produce a fine percussion section. The battery is huge, almost big enough to give Big Ken Huff, contra, a run for a tug-of-war championship. Currently, the CorpsVets battery consists of nine snares, five tenors and seven basses. Eric Landis, ex-Bluegrass Brass Sr., drives down I-75 from Cincinnati to percolate on bass drum. Watch ‘em for further adjustments! I eavesdropped on several excellent keyboardists and a fine tympanist, Joey.

Most of the guard was off doing their winter gig, but add a “chorus line” of high-kicking show persons (political correctness sure has some weird terminology), and the CorpsVets will kick butt like Atomic Bwax.

Just like the recent Kilties (‘03 13-year-old Joey, Beth and Dan Landbo’s pride and joy, now in Madison Scouts high-brass), Empire, Renegades, Grenadiers, Les Diplomates, Heat Wave, Govies, Chops, Music City Legend, Gulf Coast Sound, Frontier, Shenandoah Sound, Austin, Bush, Bucs, Hurcs, MBI…Heck, most all all-age DCA corps nowadays, the variety of ages in CV creates a fountain of youth that soaks up the Fontaine of Knowledge. I’ll not forget CV sop Reggie Humphrey’s recent DCP post about moi, “…ur…worthy, hail the old guy with the sop,” but anteing the pot with some sage caliente salsa sauce like Moss, Sheets, Wear, Zaragoza, Thomas, Landis, Inc., and young spices like Humphrey, A. J. Taylor, sop and JSU student, and Chris Gaunt, creates a jackpot!

Bill Wear, sop soloist, summed up the Vegas mood, leading a sectional, “This is not Marilyn Monroe singing ‘Haaappy Birrrrrthday tooo youuu.’” Translation: The CorpsVets plan to rock the house and tilt the slot machines, Peter.

Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Joey Bishop, and Peter Lawford – Fly me to the moon. (Tough Donny Allen chart from yesteryear in another corps.) Shirley MacLaine, Angie Dickinson, and all corps groupies are welcome to hang out with the CV Rat Pack. The CorpsVets plan to party until sunrise…or at least 11 or so grandiloquent minutes. If Lauren Bacall were to view CV, she would once again tell Bogart, “They look like a (darn) rat pack!” Look for the Vegas DVD at your local 7-11 convenience store or order later online. Click or

Buy your tickets to see the CorpsVets (and all fine DCA Open and Class A corps at other shows) at CV’s home show, Aug. 5, in Rockmart. The CorpsVets typically make DCA Finals and will be at the new Paetec Park in Rochester, NY, Labor Day weekend. For those who recall the Rochester Frontier Stadium used for the ’96 DCA Championships (Westshoremen, Jeff Ream and Steve “Hair Bear” Masters won!, sans doves (Hair Bear et al. in pit, won Showmanship)), where fan$ needed binoculars to see the front sideline, Allen Buell, David Bruni, and Ron Cheesbro, our gracious Empire hosts, assure us that the shiny, spanking new Paetec Park, a soccer venue, will put the pageantry in your face like a thundering herd of raging rhinos. Click DCA Championships tickets go on sale to the general public after April Fools’ Day, honestly, April 3. Those luck-be-a-lady insiders who got to preorder tickets will start receiving them now, after March 27.

“Put da’ lime in da’ coconut and shake ‘em all up!” The fourth-period bell just buzzed in the RHS cafeteria…Yummy, the urge for a ‘nana/p’nut butter “sammich” summons. Refer to DCWorld’s “Cozy’s Corner” for oodles more CV news and show dates.

Posted by on Thursday, March 30th, 2006. Filed under DCA ... All-Age, All-Good!.