2009 Memphis Sound April Camp Report
On Friday, April 22, Memphis Sound begin its April Camp. Excitement grew in the air as the return of the color guard was a new source of excitement to the already maturing corps. The April Camp also saw the Memphis Sound’s first international member as an auditionee from Japan joined the group.
The University of Texas @ Arlington was the stage for the weekend. The corps had the opportunity to work throughout the music building and the Multi Activities Center throughout the weekend.
Friday night brought the excitement of seeing old friendships rekindled and the joyous opportunity of making new friendships. New members were welcomed with open arms as they prepared to showcase their talents for the weekend. Friday was spent working primarily on warm up exercises and basics as everyone prepared to get back in shape. Musical etudes and battery warm up exercises could be heard throughout the building. An exceptionally talented Contra section begin to stand out as setting the bar for the weekend. The corp’s also welcomed back several staff members and new members who had just completed the indoor percussion season with various groups from WGI. Friday night was completed with a “bowl-a-thon” fund raiser for the membership at the UTA Bowling Alley. Many strikes and spares were heard throughout the night!
Saturday morning brought overcast skies and eager bodies as the group made it outside for an early morning visual block. The sound of a gock block could be heard for blocks as the corps made strides up and down the field perfecting their technique as they prepare to start learning drill at the May camp. Following the visual block, the group had a nice and healthy lunch and broke into sectionals for the rest of the day and into the evening. Everyone had the chance to work on Appalachian Morning and other pieces and exercises preparing the ensemble block that would occur later that evening. A great Cajun dinner was prepared by one of the volunteers as she prepared Andouie Sausage and Pasta in a cream sauce. After dinner, the corps returned to sectionals for a bit. Saturday Night saw the corps have the opportunity to ensemble the opener with the full corps. The excitement grew through the evening as all the parts begin to line up and the fullness and depth of the arrangers became clear. Everyone could feel the “bond” as the members put forth the effort and technique necessary to create a successful season.
On Sunday Morning, the corps was treated to a wonderful breakfast of Eggs Benedict and various juices to get sunburned bodies moving and ready to face the day. The corps presented their second “Have a Sound Breakfast” as family and fans came too watch rehearsal and enjoy a pancake breakfast with various members of the administration team. After a short visual block, where the fundamentals were once again reviewed and put into motion, the corps broke back into sectionals too prepare for the upcoming camp show off. The ensemble section saw the corps work on performing the entire opener with brass and percussion showing off their maturity as the sounds became tighter and definitely more clear and precise. The range of the upper brass became evident as they worked the upper register of the instruments in the written book. As the corps played through the opener each time, the members would get a little more excited and put forth a little more energy making each run through more and more exciting. Sunday afternoon saw a nice gathering for the show and tell portion of the camp. Lots of family and friends showed up too see what was forming “Deep In The Heart Of Texas.”
First, the color guard presented a flag combination as well as a rifle combination. The preciseness and the elegance showed the maturity level that rivals world class color guards. A solid foundation has been laid for the color guard section. Next the brass and percussion arched up and presented their portion. The corps song “Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” was presented with beauty, grace, and power as they brought tears to the vets in the audience. Next the corps played through the opener and developed a cohesiveness that had yet to be seen by the group. The buzz of the upcoming season truly found a way through the corps during this run through.
April found the corps maturing and developing the techniques necessary to have a successful and fulfilling season in 2009. The tour schedule was presented in its entirety as the members got excited to see the places and experiences that will welcome them this summer. There are still some open spots in each section for anyone that is interested.
Make sure and check the corps website at www.memphisdrumcorps.org and see the 2009 version of Memphis Sound!