Member’s Journal – Minneasota
24 June 2007
I haven't had time or motivation to write recently, as we've had three show days in a row. On Thursday, we were in Benson, NC, for CrownBEAT. Although I did not have a good show, especially as the brass quintet had timing issues in the ballad; somehow we got off from the rest of the hornline. The quintet faces front while the rest of the hornline faces back, so perhaps there was some phasing between drum majors. The score sporadically jumped up seven points. I'm paying less attention to the scores this year- they seem erratic. I stupidly forgot my inhaler and was unable to play the whole closer. We played the finale with Crown afterwards.
After everything, my seat partner from 2005 came to chat; he's with Crown now. On Friday we housed outside of Columbia, SC, for FirstBEAT. When I woke up, it was difficult to navigate the school. The drum majors didn't tell us where the food truck was, so I wound up in front of the school for no reason. We had very focused visual and brass blocks before ensemble. During that, the sprinklers came on, on the front side of the field. We reversed orientation to the back side. We worked on the third movement, which has the hornline and colorguard behind the front and back hashes. The field was sandy, so at the end of the full run, I felt like I had a lump of dust in my throat. The show that night was great- very energetic.
Yesterday, we finally had our first home show, in Alpharetta, GA. We had more rehearsal time than in the past two days, and Freddy Martin came in to run the brass block. It was burning hot. Visual and ensembel were back to back, with a break to refill water jugs inbetween. We didn't do a production run, because of the heat. That night, the show wasn't as energetic as the night before, but I had a great run, visually. Afterwards, we did finale and encore. During the ballad, the brass quintet was supposed to step forward the second time we play it. Well, there is a long sustain previous to that, and the other mello and I were uncertain when to end that, and we both stopped too short of the baritones. At least we know better now, so we don't mess up in the future. Maybe we should've just played 'Georgia' and called it a day. Lots of friends and family were at the show; I retreated after I got my mello section shirt. Today I was expected a full rehearsal day. Instead we woke up at 11am for a laundry day! We have another home show tomorrow, in Russelville, AL.
28 June 2007
I've been very busy the past four days. After our afternoon at the laundry Sunday, I felt sick to my stomach. I skipped dinner, because I felt it'd only make things worse. The night rehearsal block was five hours long. We had visual and ensemble back to back. Our drill writer was present to make changes, and we were pushed to our mental limits. I was very frustrated by the end of the day- I just wanted to get to the showers. On Monday morning, we finally had the thrill of a home show day. Unfortunately, I wound up just as frustrated, due to a plethora of comments thrown out from the box. By the show warmup, I honestly was not looking forward to performing. My 'Spirits' were going down, no pun intended. The brass caption head returned for the first time in a week. I didn't have a good warmup, but I felt very lifted by the time we got to the gate. I had my best show yet that night!
Tuesday, we were outside of Lexington, KY. The rehearsal field was horrible- it didn't go past the five yard line on either side, and in the ballad we're supposed to go to the goal line. During the full run, people were going up hills and into fences. The show that night was pretty good. It lacked some energy, but was cleaner than the night before. After changing, I went back to watch Phantom's show. As they walked up, JD Shaw came by to shake my hand. Thrilling- he recognized me! Before leaving for tour, I'd had an amazing French horn lesson with him, and was happy to see him again. We stayed at the show site that night, to rehearse for the next day.
That night, sisters in my fraternity, Sigma Alpha Iota, had planned to get together to sing our chorale… I was really disappointed to miss it, as I got caught up moving luggage. In the gym I read some of my book and went to sleep early. Wednesday morning, I went to breakfast to discover a dismal, rainy sky. I had woken up excited to rehearse, and was rather annoyed that it was raining. On the way, I ran across a thirteen year old girl who asked what we were doing (We're housing at a middle school). I spent the next half hour talking to her about drum corps. She expressed a genuine interest in the activity, and said she'd quit a lot of her after school stuff to focus on academics. She said she wasn't in band, and I told her about color guard, and a story about a girl from my high school, who hadn't spun previous to joining a corps. I gave her my AIM screen name, and told her to feel free to contact me after finals. This rehearsal day was on the best we've ever had. We poured forth effort through two long ensemble blocks.
I was exhausted by the end of the day, but gave everything I had left in the production run. During the afternoon, my boyfriend arrived to join tour as a baritone alternate (the staff told me to call him last week). He marched three years at Bluecoats, and wasn't planning on marching this summer due to Naval ROTC. He's my new seat partner, for obvious reasons. Today we had a show day in Indiana. The day went as well as our rehearsal day. The showers and gym at our housing site were ridiculously hot, but the rain outside cooled us off. At the show site, I volunteered my boyfriend for water jug duty- until he's in the show. Yay waterboy! The show was our best to date. We had made a lot of drill and music changes on Wednesday, and they came through in performance. For the first time all season, I could play the last note of the show! I had so much energy- even the scores couldn't bring me down. We played finale with Blue Devils. Now we're on our way to Normal, IL.
29 June 2007
Somewhere on the road to Minnesota
Today was another show day. The schedule a bit weird- we had ensemble before visual, although visual turned into ensemble, though we didn't play as much. It was my first experience with the Normal, IL show. I had as good a show as last night, and was thrilled at how responsive the crowd was. I wanted to avoid scores and went to a gas station, but unfortunately, as we left, they started announcing, and I had to hear everything before getting back to the bus. It is late, and I will actually talk more about today in my next entry. Good night!
Publisher's Note: Michelle is a member of DCI Division I corps Spirit of JSU, a music education major at Florida State University, and a member of the DCP Forum Support Team. Member's Journal is a regular feature column of DrumCorpsPlanet.com – 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, Biff for his transcription of Michelle's journal while she's on tour, and the Spirit of JSU staff for helping make this column possible – and all the members of Spirit of JSU for a great season.