Diners, Drum Corps, and Drives 2015 Edition

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Truman, once again a fantastic review of your drum corps travels. :thumbup:

And you're killin' me with all the photos of that great New England seafood!!! LOL

Agree! I love the RI-style clam chowder best of all, though I have not found that down here in NJ. Only NE and Manhattan.

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The scenic views of the early evening were replaced by an almost scary dark drive "Into the Woods" as we started the 3.5 hour drive home. I was tempted to stop and try a couple finding bigfoot tree kn

Truman, once again a fantastic review of your drum corps travels. And you're killin' me with all the photos of that great New England seafood!!! LOL

The late ride up the turnpike was quiet. There was some sleeping in the back seat, and almost some from the driver's seat! Luckily, Lynn stayed awake and kept an eye on me even though I wouldn't let h

Some show thoughts:

Sat next to a couple with 2 young boys, former Cadet MM. SO well behaved!!!

I guess I should be beyond this point by now, but I was still irritated when each corps was announced as "Drum Corps International And US Bands is proud to present"

BAC props still blocking view of stage for opener from our level.

Prop tipped over toward end of opener when a bari was moving it...nice recovery by the kid!

Man BAC unis are sharp...flashy.

Crown guard was cleanest timing wise, think more drops though. I think the enter banner was backwards? Not sure what it is about CC show, some gr8 moments, but seems like something is missing.

Solid BD run, like the show more and more every viewing, if that is possible. Guard seemed a little sluggish. Amps a little too loud for this venue?

Thought Cadets were really on. After they finished I told my wife I thought they might win. Love the music in this show. Kinda funny watchin Hop get irritated as a judge started before he gave the now signal to the chief timing judge at the"10". Do we need voice in unison with the unfurling of the number flags to get that effect?

Nice win for BD...keeping the streak alive in a tough spot for them. Love a close race, makes everybody better!

We celebrated by stopping for a little desert and coffee...tiramisu cake at the Suburban on Rt17. Love the diners in NJ!!!







Next up: Drum Corps comes to Tanglewood!!

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I look forward to your travel reports every summer Truman, fantastic job as always.

The pics of those lobster rolls take me back to the 94 finals... I think I ate about a dozen of them in a week. I still have the "Devils 7" baseball shirt I wore to the foggy finals that year.

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More to post later about today, but decided to give an update live from Tanglewood where The Pops brass are performing now. Gonna be an awesome night...BD has already blown away the crowd outside "The Shed".

Rondo introducing Robert W Smith to conduct Pops playing Procession of the Nobles.




Here's a clip from inside the warm up circle.


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i love this idea of adding the food review.

i'm stealing this idea like Bernie Madoff.

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We travelled the 2 hours or so up the scenic Taconic Parkway, through the NY Catskills and into the western Mass Berkshires. Essentially, the Berkshires are known for a history of artists and forward thinkers. The original draft of the Declaration of Independence was written here. Melville finished Moby Dick at his Berkshire home, and it is said that both the Women's rights and Civil Rights movements were born in the region. Stockbridge was also home to Norman Rockwell, and the location of his favorite studio. We decided to see the Norman Rockwell Museum, home to the world's largest collection of original Rockwell pieces. It was a beautiful day to stroll around the grounds and see his studio, moved and preserved at this site. The art was fantastic, and a representation of life and culture in the US. All of his Saturday Evening Post covers are on display, as well as many of the original paintings and charcoal sketches that inspired them. I share a couple below that seem appropriate for this forum. I highly recommend seeing this museum if you have the chance.










Up next: Dinner then "Into the Tanglewoods"

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We decided on dinner at 51 Park, a relatively new restaurant/tavern in Lee, on the way to Tanglewood.

wood fired asparagus with prosciutto, truffle oil and shaved parmesan over arugula for the appetizer, A lamb burger with olives-feta-taziki sauce and fries for the lady, and a wood fired pizza for me.

We sat next to 2 older couples who were going to the show, and it was funny listening to them talk about the current form of the activity. Thumbs up to 51 Park!





I decided to take the scenic route through a couple back roads. Some beautiful homes and lakes and scenery. Tanglewood was originally founded in 1937 when the estate was donated by the Tappan family to become the summer home of The Boston Symphony Orchestra. The 5100 seat "Shed" was inaugurated in 1938, and with the exception of 3 years during WWII, The BSO has performed there every summer since. Later, adjoining property was purchased, and now that serves as home to The Seiji Ozawa hall and Leonard Bernstein campus. From a local history pamphlet:

"Tanglewood annually attracts more than 300,000 visitors for orchestral and chamber music concerts, instrumental and vocal recitals, student performances and the annual Festival of Contemporary Music, as well as performances by popular and jazz artists. The season offers not only a vast quantity of music, but also a vast range of musical forms and styles, all of it presented with a regard for artistic excellence that makes the festival unique."



The Shed is fronted by a huge lawn seating area, where many come with elaborate picnic set ups, where they sit drinking wine and eating by citronella candles during the performances. It was in this area that we found BD Brass warming up in a circle, with many patrons sitting in the middle, cell phones and cameras recording the awesome sound that is like no other. The ring of the bell from the Shed signaled the 5 minute mark and we went in to our seats in the front left section.






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I would say the 5,000 seat area was pretty full, and many more on the lawn. This brass spectacular event was the idea of 2 brass members of the Pops, (they conducted the first 2 Pop's pieces), tuba and former Suncoast Sound MM Mike Roylance, and trumpet Michael Martin, a former Spirit Of Atlanta MM and son of guest conductor and Drum Corps Hall of Fame member Freddy Martin. Steve Rondinaro gave some history of drum corps comments to the crowd and did a fantastic job of hosting the event. The musical highlight of the Pops Brass and Percussion segment for us was the first ever public performance of the 3 movement American Dances, written and conducted by Robert W. Smith. Awesome piece highlighting Rag, Square, and Swing, don't be surprised to see this on a football field at some point in the future.

The next historic event took place when the Blue Devils took the stage. Despite over 75 years of music at this historic venue, this would be the first ever performance by a drum corps. The shift to blue lighting and the sparkle of the unis and brass on the stage was an awesome sight to see. The percussion did a little warm up, and then the brass did a little Uptown Funk. I paid close attention as I am currently working on designing our fall marching band show entitled Mission To Mars, which closes with UF. They played through the show. IT WAS LOUD, and they had a great time. The couple members I spoke to after their set used terms like awesome and amazing. The crowd loved em!




Here's a clip!


BAC was next. The stage lighting was changed to RED. They played Conquest, then through their show, then the corps song. They also did a great job, and the hometown crowd was very appreciative. There were oohs and ahhs around us just at the horn ripples! What a great event and end to their 75th week long celebration. Also some great exposure for the activity, Tanglewood and the Esplanade, national stages around the 4th...very very cool stuff!


The Pops and BD brass joined them on the stage and the evening closed with 1812. It was really a moving emotional thing to witness. Hope the clip can give you a little taste of how cool this was!




NEXT UP: The End of the Road....for now

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The scenic views of the early evening were replaced by an almost scary dark drive "Into the Woods" as we started the 3.5 hour drive home. I was tempted to stop and try a couple finding bigfoot tree knocks along the way! We did not stop and I drove the straight shot back to "normal life". We will now switch over to seeing some DCA over the next couple weekends, and watching DCILive until we start our next week long trip at the end of this month. I thought about how cool the last few days had been and was so thankful that BD made the flight. Anyone who thinks the activity is lost just need watch these kids, staffs, and volunteers working so hard to put shows on the field. The intensity in the eyes of every kid in every corps is all you need to see.

This 1947 Rockwell, titled Going and Coming, pretty much captures the feelings at the start and at the end of any great vacation trip. Hope everyone gets these feelings a least once this summer!


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Thanks Truman... fun read.... You make me hungry too.

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