Sneak Preview!

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Producing DCA’s annual Championship Guide & Yearbook must have been a continuing challenge for whoever held this position before. My predecessor, Tom Peashey, warned me about this project, but I already knew what he meant. I had done this twice before, although many years ago.

For me, the late eighties did not include Microsoft Word, corps websites, email, and digital photography. In some ways, preparing DCA’s publication is easier now. Then again, the public today expects something a little more slick in presentation and of course, full-color. Funny how, back then, seeing our heroes in glorious black & white was just fine. Looking back at those earlier publications, I realize my pride in achievement then, has moved a bit toward embarrassment today!

One of DCA’s goals for 2006 is to provide a totally new look and feel for this edition. That will certainly be the case. It’s just a few days from being ready to print. I do look forward to being proud all over again, but understand the feeling will most likely be temporary. Why won’t 3D yearbooks with sound soon become the expected norm? It will always be a tough job to pull everything together into one package, however. It’s a challenging puzzle.

Another goal is to increase sales of the souvenir publication to better help our corps who benefit from all net proceeds.

To assist in this effort, DCA is about to introduce something as never before in its history. You’ll learn more specifics about this later. For now, here’s a sneak preview of what we are planning for our fans.

Every yearbook purchased in Rochester will include a special insert, a ballot. Thanks to an anonymous donor, YOU have a chance to provide a cash reward to three corps you believe to have been most entertaining at this event! Your ballot, together with ballots submitted by other fans, will solely determine who wins. Results will be announced at Finals on September 3.

That’s not all. Fans can fill in their name and address on their ballot for a chance to win VIP seats to the 2007 DCA World Championships!

DCA has always been about entertainment. That isn’t going to change. Fan voting in Rochester will help to validate our commitment to you, our valued supporters. Should be fun!

Now, let’s hear what Cozy’s been up to.

Cozy’s DCA Planet

by Cozy Baker

Trek goes on: LMS L.A. to Cali all-age, to Jax State, to Arnold, MD, monsoon

Subtitle: ‘Johnny Appleseed’ of DCA scoring sheets

Enjoying Amtrak rides from San Diego to Los Angeles, then on to San Francisco through the San Joaquin Valley, I saw as many all-age and DCI Division II/III corps as I did veggie sandwiches in California sidewalk cafes. After back-packing all over downtown San Francisco solo, sans any available Renegades, I BARTed myself to SFO to fly to ATL, tote my carry-on gear off the flight and ignore my window seat flight to Orlando as Heat Wave chilled and had to cancel their July 15 show. I MARTAed back to my cowboy Cadillac and drove home for one night before it was time to head for horn sectionals and camp.

The DCA Arnold, MD, show July 22 was guaranteed to be memorable after shifting, always further north, from Manassas, VA, to Woodbridge, VA, to Arnold, MD, near the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. I packed a rain poncho, unused as I was too drenched, when Glen Hazelwood posted two days before the show to start praying to the rain gods to hold off. Some posters liked to complain about Arnold, but I heard few complain while we were “living” the monsoon moments. In the best of spirits, we simply took what corpsdom dished out and continued putting on a fine show.

Some shows will live in minds for decades to come. Shenandoah Sound’s monsoon “home” show is imbedded in mine, just like the June 1996 “Bug Show” at DCMidwest Port Clinton, OH, when our Mirage Sr. corps debuted brand new Michael Cesario designed/Fred J. Miller-made unis. The May Flies invaded like Biblical-proportion locust infestations, smearing our white bibbers, canceling the retreat, and mummified May flies were found in vehicles and drum cases, even a year later. The Glassmen made a gazillion bucks thanks to those pesky gazillion bugs selling “I survived the Bug Show” shirts.

Every corps was a champ in Arnold. The true champs were the fan$ who hung in there. Congratulations to the Connecticut Hurricanes for winning in a tight contest over the Atlanta CorpsVets. The Skyliners, Sun and Hurcs all improved dramatically since my last viewing at DCA Dover, NJ, July 1. Music City Legend traveled all the way from Nashville, getting an eyebrow-raising 70, to Sun’s and Sky’s 69s. Having had a show rained out, I’m sure MCL was satisfied to have to do their performance 1.7 times, after being pulled from the field, wisely, after eight minutes, then re-performing after a long rain delay.

Mon Valley Express has hot contras, persisted in rain

Mon Valley Express had every intention of competing, but the bus breakdown and rain-canceled practice caused Jeff Danchik, president, to announce an exhibition performance. Shenandoah Sound also did a fine exhibition.

Mon Valley Express and CorpsVets shared the same practice site at Glen Burnie HS, thanks to Jeff Benson and other members of the band boosters. Unfortunately, the Mon Valley Express bus blew a tire on the way. After shuttling members to practice, Mon Valley had just gotten started on rehearsing when a huge storm sent them for cover under the main entrance, while the CorpsVets scampered for buses. Coincidentally, the CorpsVets also had a blown tire on Bus #2 during the Dover, NJ, trip, fortunately on the way home, not impacting the show, parade or rehearsals.

Anxious to meet Loujaue “Jay” McPherson, MVE contra, I finally had a chance during lunch and later during Rain No. 1 of 3. Jay introduced me to the contra lovelies, Laura and Lindsey. It was a pleasure to meet all of the Mon Valley Express folks, including Dan Yadesky, percussion cap head, and Kelly. The entire CorpsVets contra line graciously allowed Laura and Lindsey to fondle, polish, hoist and play some CV contras. Believe me, it was a drum corps moment.

Lindsey Fisher is in love with the CorpsVets’ contras

I said the only way I’d wear a Hawaiian shirt in the same county as Fran “Torrential Rain Herring” Haring is if a bunch of us ganged up on him…That is exactly what Shenandoah Sound did in Anne Arundel County as they shed unis down to Hawaiian shirts. It was a conspiracy and Fran came in second, despite wearing the same floral pattern he donned for the DCA Prelims in, yes, Scranton, in aught five. I almost walked past him when he was wearing a mere mortal’s T-shirt in the parking lot. Eric Landis, CorpsVets #5 bass, et al., reported Fran sightings around town.

I was busy wringing out my socks and “drum corps” boxers and had to settle for my parking lot encounter. Fran said that his wife, Barbara, would be there later. Barbara has to pull herself away from Clay Aiken events, but she does for drum corps.

Tony White, Bill Flaker, Cecily, Tyler, USMC in Arnold

Tony White, TennTux, it was such a pleasure to meet you, thanks to Fran Haring. I can’t thank you enough, Fran. Thanks, Tony, for your thoughtful PM. Maybe we should all blame Tony as well for the weather. He posted that, after buying his tickets, he had put in a bad weather "cease & desist" order.

I ran into Bill Flaker, DCWorld reporter and Hurricanes, before the show. We had an unusual chance to chat. I have the utmost respect for Flaker and his writing. He travels far and wide to report worthy corps news.

Cecily and her son, Tyler, are like Johnny Appleseed, spreading 50-50 raffle tickets hither and yon across corpsdom. Every year they make the DCA Championships. Now, they must be following Fran Haring, like groupies. I spotted them in Dover, NJ, along with her husband, Tom, and in Arnold, MD, barking like carnies, “Get your 50-50s here!” If I understood correctly in the last quick chat during the third hard rain of the day, Cecily said the winner donated the winnings to Shenandoah Sound.

I talked to several members of the U.S. Marine Corps Drum & Bugle Corps. Before the rain, uh, show, I chatted with SSgt. Mike Stanley. I thank him for our informative chat. Thanks also to a bunch of USMC members who kept following along to catch the CorpsVets horn warm-up as we kept moving further and further into the boonies so as not to disturb the show. It was a rush to warm up while they relaxed in chairs fronting the arc. David Henry, cap head, and Jeff Wright, assistant, pushed us hard. Later, after the rain delay, we warmed up lightly and were ready to open on all cylinders on the field.

Sgt. Shawn Garber, USMC snare and former Phantom Regiment, stated his love of the USMC D&BC, “It’s been an excellent opportunity to be an ambassador for the Marine Corps.” Delving deeper later, I found Garber is also the Public Relations spokesman. Garber, from Verona, VA, will do well in PR. Verona, Italy, may be the balcony home of Juliet, Romeo’s heartthrob, but Verona, VA, cranks out some fine drummers.

SSgt. David Warner, USMC contra, was stuck watching his Marine cohorts due to an injury. I stood beside him and Jeff Benson, Glen Burnie HS Band Boosters, during the Marine’s performance. Thank you, SSgt. Warner, for your insights.

Thanks to Dick Eschenmann, DCA business guru, Jim Minster, Class A coordinator and chief judge, et al. for all your assistance at the Arnold show.

Gotta love drum corps: My wet clothes and smelly sneakers, loaded into a “community ice chest for cast-off clothes,” left abruptly upon our return in Atlanta as Chris Key, CV guard, had to race to a band camp. He’s going to run everyone out of that camp when he opens that ice chest. It seems that half of the CorpsVets are involved in working band camps. I’ll be at DCI Troy, AL, Russellville, AL, Cookeville, TN (normally Murfreesboro), then rejoining the CorpsVets for the Atlanta Georgia Dome show.

CorpsVets wow local fan$ at Spirit’s Jax State show

The CorpsVets and my personal best 2006 show to date was at DCI Jacksonville, AL, July 18. I had the pleasure of my cousin Gareth Bryant, a JSU music ed. graduate, viewing drum corps for the first time. In a motel lobby the next morning, over breakfast, I had the chance to meet four parents, two couples who have kids in Boston Crusaders, Hugh and Carol Jones, son Dylan, contra, and Gus and Carol Palumbo, Angela, snare, and Nick, contra. Carol Jones said, “You (CorpsVets) got the maximum goose bump reaction out of me. I recognized your tunes.”

The crowd was extremely responsive to the CorpsVets, the “feeder corps” for Spirit. Many members have performed with CV, then gone on to Spirit and other DCI corps. Currently, ex-CVers in Spirit include two tenors and a snare. Read my lips and past columns: Every all-age corps I’ve encountered “kicks” their junior-age members out the door to experience DCI.

It was a pleasure to run into Lisa Dryden, Renegades cg, at the Jax State show. Lisa was home visiting her family and old friends.

Left Coast no longer left behind by DCA

Drum corps and Amtrak are alive and thriving in Southern California! After my April and July treks to California, I now have twice as many corps buddies.

Cozy’s Amtrak car from L.A. to Mars, Blue Devils’ home

My sock tan is a corps contender now after my sojourn to the Renegades’ LOUD Music Symposium L.A., hosted along with SoCal Dream, and two hot DCI contests in Newbury Park, CA, Mystikal’s show and Bellflower, CA, Impulse’s contest. Only one addition at LMS L.A. could have made it better: River City Regiment. Director Tracy Freeman needs to make that happen in the future, please. Refer to DCWorld, , for the full review.

LMS L.A. featured ‘Gades, Dream, Kingsmen Alumni, Reneguard

The Renegades blew out forest fires when they hit the opening chords at Torrance HS. I parachuted in like a smoke jumper with their fighter pilot soprano line onto the stage again, proud to view the audience and see James Barany conducting in a fervor. Like some classic shows like Plymouth Rock, Harrisburg, Rochester, G.A.S., one needs to catch an LMS or Chinese New Year’s Parade.

SoCal Dream turned out to be reality. Mike Nash and Bob Briggs, drum majors, were in command all the way. They had fun on the stage. On the field, they will create nightmares for some Class A corps, some who haven’t even had daydreams about Dream yet.

The Kingsmen Alumni kicked some serious hiney on the Torrance stage. With about 65 horns and large percussion and guard units, the Kingsmen Alumni earned numerous standing ovations.

The Reneguard shimmered in their loveliness once more with the hypnotic grace of Lisa Dryden, Deb Peterson, Tiffany Machey, Lesa Barker, Emily Mavroudis and Andrea Tobin, and had suitors lining up after their captivating performance on a stage that could not contain their beauty bonita.

Earl Brown, ex-Renegades snare, pulled in the crowd in L.A. just as he did at LMS 7.

Thom Willet, director of the Torrance HS Jazz Band, and SoCal staff, deserves special credit for his percolating band. The kit man alone was worth the price of admission.

Corps dignitaries were in attendance. Charlie Groh, Impulse and corps icon, was there, as well as John Donovan, owner, along with DCA’s Fred Windish, of these words, and DCP. Ryan Turner, the surfer version of Fran Haring, was better than Curt Gowdy as the emcee of the LMS and again at Impulse’s home show.

Thanks to Jim McFarland, Renegades brass cap head and former Blue Devils soloist, for letting me use his excellent Kanstul Power Bore soprano to perform with the Renegades. McFarland is one of the finest instructors I’ve ever met. The Renegades are so lucky to have him

SoCal Dream is in remarkable hands and I had the opportunity to meet many of the staff and members. Sam Signorelli, sop soloist, Seth Gambetty, director/sop soloist, Bob Briggs, the big DM/sop soloist, Mike Nash, DM/president and “Darkman” on DCP, Thom Willet, brass cap head, Michael Plachta, sop, former Guelph Royalaires, etc., are some of the friendliest corps folks I’ve ever met. Ryan Turner has written an expressive drill. Dan and Mary Wolford are featured in a sop duet, a 32-year Déjà vu of their junior days, when they also did a sop duet. Frank gave me a ride in his locomotive-length motor home. I’ve made many corps pals. Rarely have I encountered so many from one corps who were so enthusiastic and hospitable.

Wayne Harris, former Kingsmen, who performs a phenomenal one-man show regarding drum corps and marching band, was at LMS L.A. I told Lisa McIntyre et al. Harris should be performing, not merely spectating. Make it so, Renegades, in aught seven. 7?!

LMS L.A. billboards all over California?

Lee Rudnicki wins the “Cozy” as corpsdom’s marketing genius. How in the heck did Rudnicki manage to plaster billboards all over California advertising LMS L.A.? Everywhere one turned, there were billboards that simply had a renegade Caribbean-like pirate and the short caption, “July 7.”

Renegade pirate opens on July 7 for LMS L.A.?

DCI Newbury Park and Bellflower, CA, pits Dream, RCR vs. Renegades

At the DCI Newbury Park, CA, show, Mystikal’s home show, July 8, Dream finally went against River City Regiment and the Renegades for the first time. The efforts of Lee Rudnicki, consultant, and Mac McEntire, from Renegades visual staff, combined with the regular Dream staff to challenge for bragging rights in California. The Renegades, who had been upended by River City Regiment, in an earlier show, snatched back bragging rights, while Dream’s guard won.

Glenn Disney wrote the superb River City Regiment brass book. Tracy Freeman and his RCR staff have done a remarkable job. Julie Holmen is a superb drum major, conducting away while feeling pale.

At DCI Bellflower, CA, Impulse’s home show, the baseball game next door had their PA system trying to play the “Cotton-Eyed Joe” over Ryan Turner. Turner sounded smooth as cotton candy and performed admirably. Thanks to Wendy, DCI official, et al. for your smiling attitudes. Read DCWorld, , for the full reviews of LMS L.A., the DCI shows in Newbury Park and Bellflower, the DCI Jax State show, and Bill Flaker’s Arnold, MD, review.

When the Renegades were marching through the entry gate, a foul ball clobbered Rick, a brand new soprano. Rick will be enshrined in the Renegades Hall of Fame for picking up the Costa Rican-made baseball, etching a “7” in his own blood on the ball, and heaving it back into the game. It didn’t exactly make headlines in the United Nations peace annals, but the baseball official was a jerk anyway.

The Kingsmen Alumni, 65 horns strong, mesmerized the Bellflower crowd. Buy your tickets now for the 2007 DCI Championships in order to see the even larger Kingsmen Alumni.

I found so many friendly folks in California, but I’m not so sure about some baseball officials and school superintendents. Charlie Groh can handle the adversity just fine. I feel sorry for those who went up against him.

Thanks to the DCI judges I met in California for your friendliness and caring about DCA corps opportunities at DCI contests. Paul Oester was extremely helpful. I can’t thank Gene O’Brien, DCI show coordinator from Boston, enough for his insight into the show process. His wife, Carol, is the Rochester Crusaders’ drum major.

Michael Plachta, Dream sop, let me stay on his Chris Craft boat at an L.A. area marina. As a boater and scuba instructor, I was in my idea of Heaven. Thanks so much to Plachta. I kept my chops with his pocket trumpet and Arban’s book.

Barbara “Bobi” Holbrook, works in the marina office. Holbrook, along with her mother, used to house up to 28 Kingsmen in her home. What a small corps world. Thanks to Bobi and to Seth Gambetty for helping on my full day at the Kanstul factory. Interviewing Ziggy Kanstul, Charles Hargett, marketing, and Troy Emmons, craftsman, was a highlight of the trip.

Later, I had a fun evening getting to know Gambetty and Mike Nash better. I feel the future of DCA is rosy. I’m excited by all the possibilities.

If anyone likes being on DCA scoring sheets at DCI contests, if any fan$ prefer to scan DCA scores, not Division II/III scores, please let DCA and DCI know how important that is to you. Please be friendly about it. If you appreciate any assistance I might have provided, please let DCA know. I’ve had 100% cooperation by all officials I’ve encountered from California to Alabama to Georgia. I’ve traveled, even marched in shows, with a memory stick around my neck, and DCA scoring sheets ready to hand out. A few don’t seem to get it. I hope the fan$ do. I sat on this column for a full week contemplating how to write this one paragraph. I decided the best approach is to let others speak.

Keith Hall posted a thread asking DCPers to list their top ten reasons for doing DCA. I invite one and all to check out why all-age corps works for numerous lifestyles.

Fred Steiner, a while back, had wondered about Donny Allen’s health. I posted, “From my understanding, you can now rest easy. Donny was in the hospital for a while for some ol’ issues. (DA has lotsa "ol’ issues.") He’s out now and about. Rumor I hear is that Donny tossed his hospital gown, donned brown on brown, tossed a chair through the window, snatched his cheap sunglasses and penguin-walked his escape. Last known spotting: Somewhere between Rachacha and Erie.”

As an old song goes, the future’s so bright, ya’ gotta wear shades.

I know I’m in the midst of another chaotic corps summer, when I just looked up at my TV which has been on an ESPN baseball game since before it started. I just saw the first score I’ve noticed, 6-2, in the 8th inning, and just realized, for the first time, it’s the New York Yankees vs. the Texas Rangers. I finally relaxed in a recliner to watch Yankee closer Rivera launch into his “Vegas” closer…uh, collect the third and final out. Randy Johnson earned his 274th win, but I don’t recall seeing him throw one pitch.

DCA corps are always a winner!

Posted by on Tuesday, July 25th, 2006. Filed under DCA ... All-Age, All-Good!.