Member’s Journal – Phoenix, AZ

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4 August 2007
Saturday, 10:39 pm

Phoenix Regional

I’ve been slacking in my updates. Where I left off was when we had the Pittsburg, KS show. The next day we had the Dubuque, IA show. The only thing I remember is that the show didn’t seem as energetic as the day before. We had no floor time in the morning because we had a massive change in the closer to put in before Indianapolis.

That Friday we had a rehearsal day at our Indianapolis housing site. We cleaned the heck out of the change to the closer all day. The only bad thing about the change is that it landed me on prop crew. The props we’ve been using all summer are as tall as I am. The weather wasn’t very nice because it proceeded to sprinkle and pour constantly. The day of the show it was still looking to rain. We had two full blocks of rehearsal before the night. At the actual show, we had an awesome run. We had to pretend that the change to the closer wasn’t new. I think it paid off. When I went to pick up the prop, I wanted to cry. My arms were locked in a very uncomfortable position because I couldn’t lift the prop any higher off the ground. My only reaction was, “This is the worst job ever.” (Random note: if I ever run a drum corps, we’re not using props as tall or heavy as the members unless they’re handled by a paid prop crew.) Unfortunately I have the job until finals. My boyfriend and I went to grab food at the best Italian restaurant I’ve ever eaten at. With finals in Indianapolis for the next three years I can march, I’m going to make that a traditional place to eat at – the garlic bread was superb!

The next Sunday we had the Columbia, MO show. One of my best friends came to watch us rehearse. We got really lucky with an Astroturf field to practice on. I barely remember the show at night. After my performance, I met up with my friend again. She let me play her brand new French horn. She also brought cupcakes for the entire brass bus. It was much appreciated by everyone on board.

We went to Broken Arrow, OK on Monday. It was burning hot at the housing site, and the gym we were sleeping in wasn’t air-conditioned. Once again we had an Astroturf field to practice on. I reckon it was brand new because the entire school stadium was under construction. I remember having a great show, both marching and playing at night.

On Tuesday we were at our Lubbock, TX show housing site for a rehearsal day. The weather outside was gorgeous for Texas. During brass block we did tracking around the practice field. The funny thing was that the sprinklers came on closest to the track. The baritone section marched away from the sprinklers while my section leader and I marched straight through them. Perhaps we were stubborn, but I just let the water shot straight up my bell as I tried to remain composed. I soon realized that there was so much water in my horn that I couldn’t play. At that point I lost it and started laughing. I figured I’d just deal with it as we set up to track again. We finished rehearsal early to go do laundry and make a Walmart run. When walking through the front door of Walmart, a girl I marched with in 2005 stopped me dead in my tracks. My first reaction was, “What the heck is she doing here?” I then remembered that she had joined us mid-season when we were in Houston, TX that year. She lives and goes to school in Lubbock. The other reason why I was confused was because I assumed she was marching her age out at Phantom Regiment (she marched there in 2006). Well, it was a very nice surprise to run into her. I couldn’t talk for long because she was making her way out as I was coming in.

On Wednesday we had a show day. The weather was alright, but the sprinklers on our regular practice field had turned the few grassy spots to mud. We did ensemble on another field behind the school which had more lines than my brain could process. Despite that, I had a wonderful rehearsal. The show warm up went well. We luckily were the last corps to perform before the big thunderstorm that rained out the rest of the show. I was hoping to watch some corps perform that night. Oh well.

Thursday was another show day in Albuquerque, NM. Dear New Mexico Residents, you have some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen in my life. Behind the school we were at was a gorgeous mountain range. In front of the school was an arid desert. The contrast between the two environments was striking. All day it was quite windy. However, the real wind was not going to show itself until the show at night. During the show warm up we had to face our shakos and plumes in the direction of the wind so that they wouldn’t get knocked over. The wind just seemed to pick up as the warm up went along. In Indianapolis we had gotten new 14” plumes. I was regretting those new chickens as we took the field. I felt bad for the color guard because I swear that wind was in excess of 45 mph. It felt like a hurricane day in Florida. We knew as a corps that we had to perform against the conditions. I had the most fun performance I’ve ever had in drum corps. The relatively small crowd seemed to feed off of our performance energy. Apparently one color guard guy’s rifle was tossed into the air and split in two somewhere away from the pit. Also, our guard and Phantom Regiment’s guard were the only ones that tossed that night. Good decision? I don’t know anything about guard. People’s shakoes flew off their heads. A couple of the props were broken because the wind blew them down. It was very hard getting them off the field. We had teams of three and four to carry them back to the equipment truck sideways as opposed to the normal two. Who really cares what the score was that night? It was a blast to perform, and I think that’s what this is all about.

We had another rehearsal day in Albuquerque yesterday. The wind was not as bad as the night before. Unfortunately, the sprinklers turned on during our ensemble rehearsal. We sat around waiting for them to turn off for about a half hour. We switched fields to where peewee football had been practicing for a few hours. We just did a full run because the sprinklers on that field were supposed to turn on too. I quickly took care of all my eat, pack, and load duties to go eat at a Sonic down the road from the school. I felt like I didn’t deserve to walk away from the housing site, but I also needed the walk and time away. I came back and did my tour job before hopping on the bus on time.

Today we stayed at a brand new-looking high school somewhere outside of Phoenix. We didn’t have a long rehearsal because of the heat index outside. We wore white t-shirts and poured ice cold water on ourselves to stay cool. It was a great idea because I never felt hot at any point. I made sure I stayed hydrated by drinking lots of water. The show at the regional was pretty awesome. I had a great run. When we walked off the field it started raining. There was a rain delay after the intermission when the Colts came on. I stayed to watch them, Boston Crusaders, and Carolina Crown before heading back to the buses here. Tomorrow is the San Diego show. I’ve never been this far west before, and I love every place we’ve been stopping.

Posted by on Sunday, August 26th, 2007. Filed under Member's Journal.