Members’ Journal – Finals

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I am now back at home to my dismay from my summer tour, but the last week of tour could not have gone any better. In Allentown we had a good show run. I got to hang out with my friends once gain from other corps. Unfortunately, I was late getting back to the buses because they changed the departure time without me knowing. Luckily I was not the last one back because I wasn’t the only one who didn’t know we were leaving earlier.

We went to Columbus, OH the next day for Capital Regiment’s home show. We had a long bus ride the night before, so we didn’t wake up until noon. We just did a brass warm up and then ensemble. It was a rehearsal schedule I could get used to! My show at night was the most energetic I ever had after a rough show warm up. During warm up we had held our horns up almost as long as a rehearsal day brass arc.

That night we left for our finals week housing site in Madison. We got to Madison around 9 in the morning on Monday. We slept in until noon to begin one of three rehearsal days. Monday-Wednesday we cleaned the show set by set and added visual and musical changes. Our housing was a strange one to be at. It appeared the State of Wisconsin was there with football camp, soccer camp, volleyball, another drum corps (Revolution), and kiddie day camp. On Tuesday night we got our deltas that say “06 Member.” On Wednesday the Madison Scouts Alumni Corps had their preview show at the housing site’s stadium after we finished ensemble. For five dollars I got to see them perform with their 120+ person horn line. It was awesome!

The day of quarterfinals we rehearsed for only about four hours before heading over to Camp Randall. My adrenaline was rushing as we marched onto the field at Camp Randall. I had a good show run with very few mistakes. We left shortly after performing to have pizza at our housing site.

On the day of semifinals we rehearsed for a little bit longer than Thursday. My show run was more flawed than quarterfinals because I missed a horn move by watching the drum major. You may ask how I could do such a thing. Well, I was watching the look on our head drum major’s face because he seemed very pleased with the performance. Before I knew it, I missed the 3 counts of the horn punch. I didn’t even attempt to move my horn. I told myself I would make the same mistake in finals. While the rest of the corps were performing, I went out to dinner at a restaurant near where the buses were parked. I just knew finals day was going to be ecstatic.

Finals day was exactly how I pictured it. In the morning, the horn line had a bit of trouble focusing because I think we were all on an emotional high. By ensemble everyone was on their game. We had wonderful segment runs. I was playing well. After our final run-through, people were already beginning to cry at the summer’s end. At night we had nothing to lose with our performance. Warm up was a huge hype as we blew away people with chord progressions. Some people on their way to their seats in Camp Randall were cheering as they passed by. The show itself was our best one of the season with all the emotion and energy we could put into it. I didn’t start crying until after we got off the field. I was smiling beforehand for a job well done. The drum line was in a good mood as they kept saying their vocals from the show. They made me laugh. Our corps director thanked us for a great summer. I hugged many people, said thanks to more, and knew that I had completed a remarkable summer with a family I’ll always remember.

For the few hours before we had to line up for retreat, I went to the Jolesch booth to look at pictures of me from quarters and semis. When I went back to line up for retreat, I talked to a few kids from Academy about how their season went. Retreat was the most amazing thing I have ever been apart of. I took a thousand pictures. 12th place or not, I worked my butt off all season and it paid off! After retreat I had to quickly check all my things in to catch a ride with Phantom to O’Hare to fly home.

Thank you Spirit for the best summer of my life. I don’t know what will happen next season, but I’m wearing my delta with pride until my time is over.

Publisher’s Note: Michelle is a member of DCI Division I corps Spirit of JSU, a recent high school graduate from Florida, and a member of the DCP Forum Support Team. Member’s Journal has been a regular feature column of this summer – following the journey of a drum corps member thru rehearsals and the competition season … providing our readers with a sense of the committment, challenges, and rewards associated with membership in a corps. Our thanks to her and the Spirit of JSU staff for helping make this column possible – and all the members of Spirit of JSU for a great season.

Posted by on Wednesday, August 16th, 2006. Filed under Member's Journal.