Cozy’s Corpsdom – What Drum Corps Means

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The next column in the works had lots of names, many corps mentioned, but then Sara Julian’s promised story rolled in and superseded all in importance. Superseded is the appropriate word. From Latin, supersedere means “to sit above.” Julian’s accomplishments are above most anyone else’s. Julian’s touching chronicle will put a lump in your throat, hopefully the only lump you’ll find.

Watch the Martha Stewart show Monday, Oct. 2, regarding breast cancer, if you get a chance. Sara Julian is in the audience. Read on for Julian’s heart-warming inspirational documentary.

What drum corps means: From trauma to three shows with three corps in one day

by Sara Julian

October is Breast Cancer Month, always a reminder of the day 5 and 1/2 years ago when I found the lump in my breast. It was the night before a flight from San Francisco to Seattle, to do a recording session for a friend’s CD on my main instrument, trombone. I felt that little piece of death and my life changed in a split second. My music career went on hold; my hair disappeared along with part of my right breast.

I never thought that my journey through my "new normal" post treatment would take me back to Drum Corps, an activity I had walked away from after aging out of Star of Indiana in 1985. But there I was, playing with the Star Alumni in 2004, initially struggling just to hold the baritone up again and then joining up with the Skyliner Alumni thanks to the urging of Carl Ruocco. The Bridgemen Alumni sucked me in – after all, I had always wanted to march there as a kid, but growing up poor white trash in Southern Indiana didn’t really lend itself to travel to Bayonne. And then the biggest challenge of all, returning to competition in 2005 with the Syracuse Brigadiers.

After a couple more health scares, all false alarms, I was raring to go in 2006 leading up to DCAssociates weekend where I appeared with not one, but THREE corps on Sunday the day of Finals. After getting my 2006 patch Sunday morning from the San Francisco Renegades, I rushed off with their blessings to an appearance with the Bridgemen Alumni in the Alumni Spectacular, followed by a stressful moment in which I lost my Skyliner uniform pants. But they took good care of stressed out Sara and got me set up to take the field with them for my second performance of the day. And then I was off to join my Renegades for the last bit of rehearsal and a bit of a break before my third performance of the day, at DCA finals. Well, there was one more performance, the standstill concert in front of our excellent fans and then it was over.

Sometimes things are more important than a score, or a placement. Just the fact that I was able to march this season was good enough for me in a way.

And now I’ve decided to try to take off where I left off, with my trombone, try to get that music career going again. But I owe a lot to Drum Corps for helping me get my chops and body built back up to speed again.

And, as a public service reminder to all my drum corps sisters and brothers (because men get breast cancer too), remember to get your mammograms and do those self-exams. You can get breast cancer at any age; it doesn’t discriminate. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and, with a little bit of luck, we can put an end to this terrible disease that has affected us all in one way or the other.

Editor’s Note: You’re invited to discuss this article in Sara’s thread regarding the Martha Stewart show on the DCA OffTopic Forum.

Publisher’s Note: Cozy’s Corpsdom features updates from the world of drum corps as only Cozy Baker can deliver ….. in his own unique style and presentation. A featured Drum Corps World reporter and contributing columnist for many years, Cozy travels the country as a competitive marching member, instructor, observer, and commentator on the state-of-the-activity. The opinions expressed in this column are strictly those of the author.

Posted by on Saturday, September 30th, 2006. Filed under Cozy's Corpsdom.