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Grandpa

What I learned from a day with Pioneer

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Bump.... I think we need to make sure more people have read this. Go Pio!

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Grandpa, thank you for posting this.  You have touched what is truly the heart and essence of the activity.  I wish you the best in retirement and hope that allows you to have more time with Pioneer.

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So since you are retiring Grandpa, which corps is going to get your experience in help? :)

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11 hours ago, Grandpa said:

I hung out with Pioneer Wednesday night and Thursday this past week as they prepared for prelims. I was there to support one of my former students who is now marching quad with Pio and being taught, ironically enough, by my former instructor, Tyrell Carver (an amazing guy, I was very happy to know "T" would be her instructor, but that's another story)...  Seeing my student and T again was pure magic, and Pioneer are wonderful hosts - Roman is a true gentleman. I can't say enough good things about that organization and will encourage other kids I teach who are considering the jump to DCI to consider Pioneer without hesitation.

I started marching in 1968. I've spent a lot of time thinking drum corps is not the same as when I marched and in many ways, it's true. Electronics, trombones, singers - much has changed and I haven't been onside with a lot of it. But I watched those Pioneer kids give it everything they've got in run-throughs Wednesday night, sectionals and runs Thursday morning, and then show prep in Military Park, most if not all of them understanding where they would place at the end of the day. It didn't matter to them, they threw every muscle and fibre of their being, and all of their heart, into preparing for that show. I could only watch in admiration. 

And I learned in that moment at show prep, that the things I maybe don't like about modern drum corps - the mics, the instrumentation etc. - are entirely superficial to the main event, which is the experience these kids have in marching.  The work ethic you learn, the ability to learn your limits and then break through them, the lifelong bonds of friendship you make, the joy of performing for the audience - none of this has changed, and that's the essence of drum corps regardless of the era or competitive level you marched. If you marched, you get it.

I'm 62 years old and in this, my last year of teaching, I learned a great deal about drum corps from these 22 and under year olds this week. In every way that matters - drum corps has not changed one bit.

I'm a fan again.

Thank you Pioneer for your gracious hospitality, and for the lesson.

In a previous post I saw you as the "cool grandpa". Your also a wise man!  Your students are a lucky bunch. 

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Great read.  Thanks for posting.  It reminds us all that after the scores have been tabulated and the winners announced, after some MMs go home on cloud nine while others are disappointed, it is still mostly an activity that develops the characters of young people.  The competition and entertainment part of it are secondary.

Edited by luv4corps
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My son was convinced that Pacific Crest was going to win the title Saturday night even though I kept telling him they didn't look like they were going to make Finals. To all the corps: keep doing what you are doing. Even if you aren't a Finalist, what you do is impactful to the mm's...and to others you may not even realize.

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11 hours ago, Grandpa said:

I hung out with Pioneer Wednesday night and Thursday this past week as they prepared for prelims. I was there to support one of my former students who is now marching quad with Pio and being taught, ironically enough, by my former instructor, Tyrell Carver (an amazing guy, I was very happy to know "T" would be her instructor, but that's another story)...  Seeing my student and T again was pure magic, and Pioneer are wonderful hosts - Roman is a true gentleman. I can't say enough good things about that organization and will encourage other kids I teach who are considering the jump to DCI to consider Pioneer without hesitation.

I started marching in 1968. I've spent a lot of time thinking drum corps is not the same as when I marched and in many ways, it's true. Electronics, trombones, singers - much has changed and I haven't been onside with a lot of it. But I watched those Pioneer kids give it everything they've got in run-throughs Wednesday night, sectionals and runs Thursday morning, and then show prep in Military Park, most if not all of them understanding where they would place at the end of the day. It didn't matter to them, they threw every muscle and fibre of their being, and all of their heart, into preparing for that show. I could only watch in admiration. 

And I learned in that moment at show prep, that the things I maybe don't like about modern drum corps - the mics, the instrumentation etc. - are entirely superficial to the main event, which is the experience these kids have in marching.  The work ethic you learn, the ability to learn your limits and then break through them, the lifelong bonds of friendship you make, the joy of performing for the audience - none of this has changed, and that's the essence of drum corps regardless of the era or competitive level you marched. If you marched, you get it.

I'm 62 years old and in this, my last year of teaching, I learned a great deal about drum corps from these 22 and under year olds this week. In every way that matters - drum corps has not changed one bit.

I'm a fan again.

Thank you Pioneer for your gracious hospitality, and for the lesson.

Thank you for sharing your observation and experiences!  Words cannot describe how appreciative we are for the kind words! 

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11 hours ago, Grandpa said:

I hung out with Pioneer Wednesday night and Thursday this past week as they prepared for prelims. I was there to support one of my former students who is now marching quad with Pio and being taught, ironically enough, by my former instructor, Tyrell Carver (an amazing guy, I was very happy to know "T" would be her instructor, but that's another story)...  Seeing my student and T again was pure magic, and Pioneer are wonderful hosts - Roman is a true gentleman. I can't say enough good things about that organization and will encourage other kids I teach who are considering the jump to DCI to consider Pioneer without hesitation.

I started marching in 1968. I've spent a lot of time thinking drum corps is not the same as when I marched and in many ways, it's true. Electronics, trombones, singers - much has changed and I haven't been onside with a lot of it. But I watched those Pioneer kids give it everything they've got in run-throughs Wednesday night, sectionals and runs Thursday morning, and then show prep in Military Park, most if not all of them understanding where they would place at the end of the day. It didn't matter to them, they threw every muscle and fibre of their being, and all of their heart, into preparing for that show. I could only watch in admiration. 

And I learned in that moment at show prep, that the things I maybe don't like about modern drum corps - the mics, the instrumentation etc. - are entirely superficial to the main event, which is the experience these kids have in marching.  The work ethic you learn, the ability to learn your limits and then break through them, the lifelong bonds of friendship you make, the joy of performing for the audience - none of this has changed, and that's the essence of drum corps regardless of the era or competitive level you marched. If you marched, you get it.

I'm 62 years old and in this, my last year of teaching, I learned a great deal about drum corps from these 22 and under year olds this week. In every way that matters - drum corps has not changed one bit.

I'm a fan again.

Thank you Pioneer for your gracious hospitality, and for the lesson.

After reading this, I decided to send Pioneer a donation.  Thanks!   

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