Member’s Journal – Allentown, PA

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4 July 2007
Wednesday, 5:15pm
Chicago, IL
I can't believe it has been almost another week. Last Friday I found another location to add to my 'favorite shows' list: Normal, IL. The kids there treated us like it was a regional, or finals week. I'd never preformed there before. On Saturday, we drove all the way to Minnesota. We pulled in during the daylight, and fit in about 3 hours of rehearsal before the show. Despite being so far north, I've never felt that dehydrated during tour yet. I felt shaky during horn arc, and had a bad headache during ensemble. I was not in a good mood heading into the show.


During warm up, we played Georgia and both SCV and Madison Scouts stopped what they were doing due to our volume. Apparently we were also loud enough to be heard during Southwind's first hit in the stadium, a quarter-mile away. By the time we got to the gate, I was feeling better, and I thought I could have cried from happiness at the end of the show. The crowd just ate us up, and it made my bad day disappear. That's why I love this activity; I don't know where else to get that particular feeling.

Sunday, we were still in MN. Our housing site was supposedly holding a soccer tournament on Monday… we'd lined and used that field for ensemble-oops… That night we had another good show; I made sure I bailed before scores were announced, and got some yummy food nearby. I did stay true to my soda fast. Monday, we had a rehearsal day in Wisconsin. We did a lot of specific work on dynamics in the music. We also turned part of a segment backfield, in the opener. We barely got an ensemble time, as there were no stadium lights. We had plenty of floor time, though!

Yesterday's weather conditions were pretty awful. It rained nonstop pretty much all day. Despite that, we still did parts of ensemble outside. I have to admit, my head wasn't in the game. I was wet, cold, and hungry- not the telltale signs of a happy corps member. Still, I tried my best to make it to the end of rehearsal. At the show site, the weather continued to threaten, and it finally rained and they made the show a standstill- just as we were headed to the field. I always feel like we "win shows" when we do standstills; I was a little apprehensive at first, because this year our show doesn't have the familiarity of last year's tunes… but Georgia always wins the crowd over.

Today, we did parades in Chicago. This was my first time marching in them, and I have to admit that I prefer Bristol, RI and Wakefield, MS shows. There's something about marching with others, and sharing their food trucks. Now we're going on a much needed Wal-Mart run.

7 July 2007
Saturday, 10pm
Allentown, PA
Thursday found Spirit outside of Columbus, OH. When we awoke, the sky was overcast, and threatened to rain. The weather held back until the end of visual, and then it poured. The staff kept us out for these last 15 minutes, and we went in soaked, with our equipment and books ruined. We broke early for lunch, and surprisingly, when we went out after lunch, it was bright and sunny. How's that for Murphy's Law? We wound up doing ensemble on a parking lot, because the field was quite muddy from the rain. The show that night wasn't very good- I don't know what exactly happened, but the tempos were down and it seemed to lack energy.

Yesterday we were in Buffalo, housing at the show site. We got to use the big Astroturf field, and had six hours of ensemble. We did set-to-set work on segments, and things seemed to clean right up. Later that evening, we did a clinic for high schoolers, and a few kids brought along instruments. It was fun to try to help the flute players in my row play along with our basics block. The show was a lot better- we had lots of energy, and we'd been rehearsing on that field all afternoon. I was surprised and happy to hear we'd jumped four points. The morale going into today was great!

Following Buffalo, we made our annual pilgrimage to Bethlehem, PA. We housed at the same site we always house, and our attitude was good. We did have a little bit of trouble getting focused at the beginning. We had to spend time on individual 'stick-outs'- the missed dots, the blaring over the hornline, and such. Tonight was fun- a really awesome show, better than last night. I went to get my annual funnel cake, which was really tasty, and I went to get a hot dog at Yocco's Hot Dogs- it was really good. I got my patches at the DCI booth, and settled on a curb to dictate this journal to be published.


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 – 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 best wishes to all the members of Spirit of JSU for a great season.

Posted by on Sunday, July 8th, 2007. Filed under Member's Journal.