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Best age to start Drum Corps

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A funny thing happened at the Stillwater show, my little girl, Cha Cha, came home with a flag, and said she wanted to be in the guard. This is all fine and dandy, love the fact she wants to be in the corps, but I had to move my plan of attack up a few years, so heres what I did about it.

(Before all the guard people start putting some kind of "guard hex" on me, please understand the Govie guard is very good, and I wanted my little Cha Cha to march soon, not in 10 years when she would be ready to join that faction of the corps)

I figured I would see what we had for uni tops, and see if she would fit in anything, and behold not only did one fit, we had 4 more for spares, why we have 5 uniform tops that fit a 6 year old is still a mysetry to me. So with the fact that she fits into a top I started to plant the seed "Hey you want to play cymbals?". She said see would try because she wanted to try marching. Next up, need cymbals, goto the truck and find out the smallest cymbals are way to big, she will never make throug a parade, goto plan B, find smaller cymbals. I go in search of a set of hi hats, find some, still to big, goto plan B.5 (because plan C is join the guard) I go and talk with my buddy "Rod, the bod, rock & roll, show me the money, who the hell are you, Schiedle" and he has a set of 10" splash for $120.00. It cost more then I want, but Cha Cha is now jucied and wants to march the parade on the 4th.

Wed comes and all the parts are in place, she has a complete uniform, she has real cymbals, but can a 6 year march a 2 mile parade at 85 degrees, and not fall down crying? This is the one big question, and the other question is, are the other cycbal palyers going to like having a 6 year old in the line? I speak with the section leader and let her know(in the Govies the pit playes cymbals in parades) if Cha Cha can't hack it, Tamara (my wife,Cha's mom) will be there to pull her on the spot. The cymals agree to the terms and we all start waring up, I'm playing snare, Molly my sister is in the guard, and my pride and joy Cha Cha is one of 5 cymbals.

The 4th of July parade in St.Peter is always packed and today was no exception, the parade is 4 rows deep on both sides and everyone is cheering for the corps, It's a good day to be a Govenaire. I look back every once in a while, and she still hanging in, she's starting to turn red, but she still looks strong. We turn the last corner and head for the park, I think shes going to make it, I feel better. We get done with the parade, no problems on any front, she made, I made it, we all made it, no body went down, take a second to thank the good lord, and get ready for the concert, feeling relieved about not killing my Cha.

We had 90 mins between the parade and our concert, and in that time my wife took Cha down to Patrick's to cool down and get some food, and to my wifes surprise, Cha now wants to do the concert as well. Back to the park they come, they join up with the corps, and Cha Cha is back in the saddle again. She does not know any of the music, but she is realy trying hard and the crowd loves it. We play the concert (nice concert by the way) and she makes it through that with out any problems and has a big smile on her face when all was said and done.

So I believe your question was "What age" in this case it seems to be 6, but when I started I was 12, but in any case, do it when they are ready. Some of my best times I have ever had was marching in the corps with my parents. I still remember after one very hot parade, stopping by a lake and throwing my mother in with her DM uni still on, ahhh, good times.

I'm very proud of my Cha Cha, but now the next problem is this. Is Cha Cha a member of the corps? Do the Govies invite her to banquet? How does a Sr.Corps handle a 6 year old member? After the concert we went to a party before the fire works where everyone in the corps was at. I took Cha aside and told her how proud I was of her, asked her if she wanted to play again, (she said yes :) ), and then I explained to her that she was now a member of the drum corps. She was not at this party as my daughter, she was a cymbal player. She was the youngest member of the oldest corps, and she liked that.

My new goal is to see if I can get her to play cymbal for SCV, but I think I might wait till shes 10 :P


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Thanks Stoli!

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Good pix Stoli!!

Isn't that what it's all about?



Oh NO!!! Another Mayer in the crowd !! :P

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your profile doesnt say where you marched or where you live, do you have a good alum corps nearby?

Sorry, I updated the profile. I've actually been looking at Kilties. I started looking into it last fall, but decided I wasn't able to commit the time yet. I think I should probably get involved soon and have the kids be mascots!! Just for history sake, I've spent a lot of time around the Scouts, but only marched with my High School marching band (Oregon, WI).

Thanks for the replies, this was very helpful! Great pics Stoli!

Edited by GBPezman
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Just for history sake, I've spent a lot of time around the Scouts, but only marched with my High School marching band (Oregon, WI).

Hey, I went to McFarland High School. Small world! :)

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We had a mellophone player from McFarland march with us for a few years. If I remember right, that's what started members coming from other schools. I just read that they have members from 8 other schools this year.

I have a few friends from McFarland and In-laws that live there. Small world!

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