Day Nine: Dordrecht, Netherlands

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The big show day in Holland is finally here! The GLASSMEN awoke early to get ready for the day as one of twelve drum corps that would perform Friday evening in Dordrecht’s GN Bouw Stadium. Having begun the day with an open stadium rehearsal from 10am-5pm, the corps was swarmed with fans and onlookers from start to finish. People were busy around the stadium getting ready for food and souvenir sales, but everyone stopped to watch the GLASSMEN run through at the end of rehearsal – and they couldn’t wait to see it in uniform later on in the evening – along with some new uniform additions for the color guard!

Twelve corps in all performed for the event, called "An Evening With the Stars." A couple thousand fans and participants braved the heat wave to pack the stands full from top to bottom, anxiously awaiting some of the best performers in Europe today. The groups included: Jong Holland, from Zwijndrecht, Holland; Jong Jubal, from Dordrecht, Holland; William Egert, from Purmerend, Holland; Federatieband, Den from Haag, Holland; Showkorps Excelsior, from Delft, Holland; Fidele Vogelsanger, from Gevelsberg, Germany; Showkorps Jong Holland, from Zwijndrecht, Holland; Juliana Drum & Bugle Corps from Middleburg, Holland; Northern Star from Leeds, England; Beatrix Drum & Bugle Corps from Hilverson, Holland; Jubal Drum & Bugle Corps from Dordrecht, Holland; and of course, the GLASSMEN from Toledo, Ohio, USA.

Jubal Drum & Bugle Corps, our gracious hosts here in Dordrecht, Holland.

There were some special guests in the audience tonight, including the mayor of Dordrecht, Ronald Bandell, and his wife. (It also happened to be her birthday this evening, so the show was an extra special treat!) Some of the GLASSMEN staff and volunteers were invited to a special reception with the mayor at city hall earlier in the day. As luck would have it, Mayor Bandell is a huge fan of the Jubal Drum & Bugle Corps, and was ecstatic at the opportunity to have an American corps come to his town. He gave the staff a tour of city hall, and spoke about the history of the city. He also expressed his wish that the members of the GLASSMEN would keep in touch with their newfound dutch friends, and continue to build the global village in which we all live in together. Mayor Bandell and executive director Brian Hickman exchanged gifts, and departed to prepare for the evening show.

Brian Hickman presents Mayor Bandell and Jubal director Bert van Maaren with a special gift from the GLASSMEN.

There were several european GLASSMEN alumni on hand at the event as well – Chantal de Groot (1993), Andreas Ruthardt (1999), and Michael Huber (1999). But the European drum corps fans needed no introduction for the GLASSMEN – they have been anxiously awaiting this night for almost two years – and the excitment level was high as the corps took the field at 10:30 p.m. By all accounts, the GLASSMEN performed their best show to date, leading the audience through the crescendos of the music, and down to utter silence in the stadium during the fourth movement effect. But the crowd let out a triumphant cheer at the end of the show, leaping to their feet and begging for more. And they got more!

Michael Huber (’99) and his girlfriend pose with GLASSMEN drum majors Bo Sodders and Bekah Aavang.

The GLASSMEN performed the show again in a concert arc for the screaming crowd, and then played the moving "Time to Say Goodbye". But before we said good night, all twelve brass lines returned to the field, forming an enormous concert arc that nearly reached from end zone to end zone. GLASSMEN drum major Bo Sodders took the podium, and in one swift flourish of his arms, led the mass brassline in the new Champions Fanfare. The crowd went nuts! It was truly an experience of a lifetime for all the members, the staff, and every in attendance at the show. It will be a moment they will remember forever!

Brian Hickman walks the tuba line just before the mass brass concert.

The GLASSMEN have only a mere four days left overseas, and while anxious to return home, there will certainly be many new friends that will be missed here in Europe – even young percussionist Martjan Bouma, who traveled with the corps from France through Holland, learning what the drum corps activity is truly about – family, friends, and fun.

Martjan "Smartie" Bouma poses with GLASSMEN members Sam Cummins, Mo Longo, and Kris Lombardo at the show in Dordrecht.

Stay tuned to as the corps performs their last show on the continent in Meerhout, Belgium before crossing back through the Eurotunnel for their final stop in England. Goede dag!

Posted by on Saturday, July 1st, 2006. Filed under DCI World.